Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain will start flying to Kabul, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 15 June 2011 with four weekly flights. The announcement follows the airline’s recent launch of services to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Isfahan in Iran, Basra in Iraq, Milan in Italy and Geneva in Switzerland which brings the number of new destinations opened in 2011 to six.
Moving ahead with the new strategy, the announcement reinforces the airline’s leadership position as the carrier with the largest network in the region. Gulf Air will be the first ‘full service’ scheduled commercial carrier in the Middle East to connect Afghanistan.
Announcing this today, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Samer Majali said, “The launching of our service to Kabul follows extensive safety and security audits, 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.”
“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has seen some remarkable growth recently and the government is committed to facilitate and promote the development of a dynamic, competitive private sector by closely working in partnership with local businesses to revitalize and expand the economy.”
He further added, “By connecting Kabul with Bahrain we are opening a huge commercial opportunity for Afghanistan’s well known traditional industries such as carpets and gems, and the industrial sectors namely construction and engineering, IT/telecommunications, transportation, and of course mining, which are poised for take-off. We also foresee a huge opportunity for Bahrain’s private sector businesses in Afghanistan.”
“In addition, there are many international corporations and organisations working on several multi-million development projects in Afghanistan and there is a vast Afghan community living and working in the Middle East, North America, Europe and Asia. Gulf Air will be the only ‘full service’ commercial airline to provide seamless and convenient flight connections to these passenger segments between Kabul and the entire GCC network, the Levant region, Europe, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.”
“We are confident that our service to Kabul will be as successful as our recently launched routes,” Mr. Majali concluded.
Gulf Air will be operating initially an Airbus A320 aircraft offering 16 Falcon Gold seats and 120 Economy class seats between Bahrain and Kabul.