Gulf Air expands Iraq network
Manama, September 5, 2009
Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, will commence flights four times per week to Najaf from September 26, while services to Erbil will begin on October 26 with three flights per week.
The Najaf service will become a daily service from 26 October, whereas services to Erbil will also become a daily service in due course, said a statement.
The airline’s service to Najaf, in the south of Iraq, will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays using an A320 aircraft. Service to Erbil, in Northern Iraq, will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, also using an A320 aircraft.
“On the back of the successful launch of our services to Baghdad I am delighted that Najaf and Erbil will be following close behind,” said Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali.
“This is a great achievement for Gulf Air as we look to the future and start to target niche routes.”
He continued: “Like Baghdad, we expect significant demand to these Iraqi cities. The type of traffic travelling on these two routes will be quite different. The holy city of Najaf is a site of great religious significance to Muslims and a great centre of pilgrimage.
“As Iraq’s third largest city as well as the capital of the Kurdistan autonomous region and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Erbil is an important commercial centre in Iraq.
“The Kurdistan Region has significant proven petroleum and gas reserves and over 35 companies from 20 countries have signed exploration and development contracts with the KRG.”
“Just like Bahrain, the KRG is nurturing a business friendly environment and has started attracting businesses to the region, who are looking at its long-term potential,” Majali said.
“The KRG is also seeking to attract tourists investing heavily in its infrastructure to scale-up the capacity of its tourism sector,” he concluded.-TradeArabia News Service