Gulf Air today confirmed that it will be flying into Basra with effect from 1 September this year. This follows an announcement by the Head of Iraq’s Governing Council last week in which six international airlines were given rights to fly into Iraq’s second largest city.
Included in the list of airlines selected to commence operations into Basra are Gulf Air, Emirates, Lot Polish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and SAS.
“Gulf Air is both honoured and delighted to have been selected as one of the first group of airlines into the country,” said Fareed Al Alawi, Vice President, Network at Gulf Air. “We believe the resumption of air links into Basra will give us an opportunity to contribute to the development and construction of Iraq.”
“With our strong regional network and longstanding geographic and cultural ties within the region, we are well placed to provide support and services to the people of Iraq and those committed to rebuilding the country,” he said.
With just two weeks until operations are due to commence, Gulf Air explained that it would have to obtain clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Meteorology in Oman and obtain the necessary permission from Civil Aviation in Bahrain and Abu-Dhabi.
In the meantime airline officials are working on the logistics of the operation and will assess security and ground-handling facilities at the airport, which like other facilities in Iraq has been closed since the 1991 Gulf War.
At this stage, in the terms of the initial arrangement, Gulf Air will fly to Basra once a week on Mondays.
About Gulf Air - Gulf Air was founded in 1950. Today, it is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, and is the only truly pan Gulf airline in the region. The airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 45 cities in 33 countries. The fleet is one of the most modern in the Middle East and comprises 33 aircraft.
The airline is in the first year of a three-year strategic recovery programme, headed by President and Chief Executive, James Hogan. The airline’s aim is to further evolve by taking its renowned cultural strengths, which have been gained over more than half a century, into a global environment.