Gulf Air, the award-winning Middle Eastern airline, today announced the launch of Dublin’s first-ever scheduled services to the Middle East. The non-stop flights will allow direct travel to the Kingdom of Bahrain and onward connections to more than 40 cities in the Middle East, Africa, the Far East and Australia.From 2 December 2005, the airline will operate a three-times-weekly service into its hub airport at Manama in the Kingdom of Bahrain, delivering three-class travel on an Airbus A330 aircraft. The non-stop flights remove the need for Irish travellers to transit through London or other European hubs.
Gulf Air becomes the only airline offering a First Class product in the Irish market. Passengers will be able to experience state-of-the-art sky beds in first and business class, five-star chefs preparing and serving food in first class, and Norland-trained Sky Nannies looking after young travelers in all classes.
Gulf Air is the national airine of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and the gatweay to Dubai.)
Flights will operate on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with timings designed for excellent onward connections to the Far East and Australia.
James Hogan, president and chief executive of Gulf Air, said:
“This is a major milestone - the first-ever scheduled services from Ireland to the Middle East. When GF024 takes off on 2 December, it will connect Dublin with cities across the Middle East, Far East, Africa and Australia.
“Our service is better for business - with just eight seats in First Class, and only 24 in Business. They are wider, more comfortable, more private, more convenient and more spacious than those offered by any other airline at present.
“And it is fantastic for leisure travelers, connecting them simply to key leisure destinations such as Oman, Dubai, India, Bangkok and Sydney.”
The Minister of Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue, T.D., warmly welcomed Gulf Air’s decision to open the first ever direct service from Bahrain to Dublin from December onwards.
“The new service will be good for tourism to the island of Ireland, particularly as it will offer even more choices for long-haul travelers from the growing markets of Asia, Australia, the Middle East and South Africa to come and enjoy a holiday in Ireland”.
Declan Collier, Chief Executive, Dublin Airport Authority said:
“I wholeheartedly welcome this announcement by Gulf Air of the first direct scheduled services between Dublin Airport and Bahrain. In terms of Dublin Airport’s fast-growing route network, Gulf’s announcement is also welcome as the first long-haul scheduled route to a destination outside of North America.
We have been working hard for some time now to secure a direct service into the Middle East and from there to numerous destinations in Asia, Australia and Africa. We will continue to work closely with Gulf Air to support this route network into the future and I have no doubt that the new service will further strengthen and develop business and tourism links between Dublin, Bahrain and the wider world to the east and south. I wish them every success.”
Driven by new levels of service excellence and a range of product and service innovations, Gulf Air has won a string of international awards, further moving the airline back towards its former position as one of the world’s most respected airlines.
“Gulf Air continues to go from strength to strength,” concluded Hogan. “As we move into the next stage of our growth strategy, we are acutely aware that what really sets apart airlines today is service and comfort. What we are now offering is new, unique and extraordinary. We look forward to providing this level of service into Dublin.”
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