September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
Bahrain national carrier Gulf Air has announced plans to start flying to Afghanistan, despite suspending flights to other destinations in the region due to civil unrest.
Gulf Air plans to start four weekly flights to Kabul from June 15 – the airline claims it will be the first full service scheduled commercial carrier in the Middle East to connect to Afghanistan.
Flights to neighbouring Iran and Iraq, however, have been temporarily suspended until at least March 31, including the newly launched Isfahan and Basra flights.
Gulf Air has also suspended its flights to and from Beirut until March 25, citing “the on-going situation in the region and the consequent reduction in passenger demand”.
Despite the ongoing uncertainties, Samer Majali, Gulf Air’s CEO, said the connection between Kabul and Bahrain would open “a huge commercial opportunity”.
He said Afghanistan’s traditional industries such as carpets and gems, and its industrial sectors, which include construction and engineering, IT, telecommunications, transportation, and mining, are “poised for take-off”.
“The launching of our service to Kabul follows extensive safety and security audits,” he said, “and further demonstrates our strategy to connect the Kingdom of Bahrain with niche and under-served markets within the region that have high growth potential.”
Flight GF 0742 will leave Bahrain at 11.15am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
From Kabul, flight GF 0741 will leave at 4.50pm, arriving into Bahrain at 6.45pm.
This year, Gulf Air has also launched flights to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Milan in Italy and Geneva in Switzerland.