is returning to South Africa.Ê After an absence of more than eight years, the airline will be recommencing non-stop flights between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Johannesburg from 2 December 2005.
The service will begin with three flights per week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Johannesburg to Bahrain and Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, from Bahrain to Johannesburg.
These are specifically scheduled to connect with Gulf Air’s other new destination, Dublin, which was launched on 15 July. Flights from Johannesburg will also provide excellent connectivity onwards to Europe, the Far East and Asia.
Operated by Airbus A330 aircraft, passengers will be able to experience the airline’s state-of-the-art Sky Beds in First and Business Class along with other award-winning innovations including Gulf Air’s unique Sky Chefs and Sky Nannies.
Gulf Air President and Chief Executive James Hogan is delighted with the re-introduction of Gulf Air’s service into the African market.
“Gulf Air has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last few years. We are now an airline that offers one of the best in-flight services in the sky, connecting people to the destinations they want to go to, with a level of comfort that is revolutionising the airline industry. With the growing contact between South Africa and the Gulf for business and tourism, we felt the time was right to return to Johannesburg,” he said.
“Business and leisure travellers now have the opportunity to experience our award winning services and will find Bahrain the ideal gateway to the Arabian Gulf as well as providing excellent onward connections within the Gulf Air network, which extends across the Middle East as well as Eastbound and Westbound to Europe, Asia 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 travellers, connecting them simply not only to key leisure destinations throughout the Middle East and Asia such as Oman, Dubai, India, Bangkok and Sydney, but also through to Ireland, our latest destination. Passengers will be able to experience a first class service from Johannesburg to Dublin, via Bahrain.”
South African Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk welcomed the announcement stating the new service would help further strengthen the travel and tourism links between the two regions.
“The addition of new flights between South Africa and key international destinations has been one of the most important focal areas of our tourism development plan,” said the Minister.
“The decision by Gulf Air to re-enter the South African market is a truly positive step which augurs well for Southern Africa and the Middle East.
“The introduction of Gulf Air’s new service not only adds important new airlift capacity for our own travel industry, it also connects two much wider commercial and industrial hubs, bringing even greater economic and trade potential. We welcome Gulf Air to Johannesburg and wish it every success.”
Tourism is an area that is expected to witness tremendous growth over the coming years. South Africa offers a huge variety of locations and activities to tourists from the Gulf, from breathtaking national parks with a huge variety of big game, to exciting holiday resorts such as the Lost City and Sun City, there are attractions to suit all tourists.
The new flights will allow passengers travelling to and from Johannesburg to experience Gulf Air’s newly refurbished A330 fleet, which was completed in the summer of 2005.
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.