Gulf Air confirms Iraq service
3 September 2009
Bahrain's National carrier Gulf Air today confirmed it will commence services to Baghdad on 1 September 2009. The Airline also announced it will add two additional destinations in Iraq to its network, the holy city of Najaf and Erbil, in Northern Iraq, by the end of September 2009.
Flights to Iraq's capital Baghdad will go on sale from 6 August online at gulfair.com as well as via travel agencies and Gulf Air sales office.
Gulf Air will initially operate a five times weekly service to Baghdad using a A320 narrow body aircraft. The airline hopes to increase this to a daily service in the near future.
Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Samer Majali said: "I am delighted to announce the date of our inaugural service to Baghdad and unveil our plans to add two further cities in Iraq to our network by the end of September 2009. Gulf Air will become the first GCC airline to offer direct flights to Iraq, adding to its pioneering legacy.
"The inclusion of Iraq to our regional network makes absolute sense both geographically and economically. There is a clear demand for a direct service from Bahrain and we have also ensured that our Iraq service will complement our feeder services from Europe and in particular London, which will enable us to capture intercontinental traffic with passengers having less than two hour connections via our Bahrain hub."
Preparations are also well underway for Gulf Air to start flying to one of Iraq's largest cities, Erbil, and Najaf by the end of September.
Mr. Majali continued: "There are strong historic and trading links between Bahrain and Iraq and as the Kingdom's national carrier we wanted to take full advantage of the Air Service Agreement concluded last month between the two countries as quickly as we could. We are creating a connection that is essential for the economic re-development of Iraq and enables us to take full advantage of the rapid growth Iraq will witness as global business and cultural links into the country develop."