Extra flights to tackle Bahrain F1 rush
Manama, March 10, 2010
Plans are in place to lay on extra flights to cope with soaring ticket sales ahead of this weekend's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Bahrain Air has seen such a jump in demand from several cities, including Beirut, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Indian sub-continent, that officials said plans were in place to bring in additional planes.
Gulf Air also confirmed that air ticket sales during the F1 extravaganza were encouraging and expected to reach a similar level to previous years.
Last year, despite the global financial crisis, the airline matched the 50,000 passengers who were flown in during 2008.
Bahrain's three-day F1 feast roars into action on Friday, featuring the opening of the F1 World Championship as well as racing from the GP2 Asia Series, the Porsche Mobil1 Super Cup and the Chevrolet Supercars.
A host of off-track entertainment has also been lined up, including international superstar DJs, dancing troupes, classical musicians and a dedicated big-top circus.
The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) has also invited 18 former F1 world champions and their winning cars during an exclusive on-track ceremony.
Entertainment after the racing action will be provided from some of the planet's hottest talents; including Timberland, Flo Rida, Sean Kingston and Emeriti singer Hussain Al Jasmi.
'I think from a regional perspective, we're going to see a lot more people flying to Bahrain for the F1,' Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali told the GDN.
'For us personally, ticket sales are very good, I can't be sure exactly how it goes as I wasn't here for last year's race but there certainly is a huge amount of interest.
'On a global basis, it is a bit more difficult to predict, mainly due to the global depression, but it is clear that the excellent work in encouraging interest in the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is now starting to pay off.'
Al Majali explained that increased demand in air ticket sales - particularly from neighbouring countries - could partially be attributed to the creation of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which held its inaugural race last November.
He said motor sport had caught the imagination of the Gulf nations as a result of the GCC hosting two annual F1 races.
A Bahrain Air spokesman also hailed the effect of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on local airlines.
Meanwhile, the BIC has announced the final set of winners of its weekly online competition which gave F1 fans the chance to win vouchers to a number of BIC attractions.
They were Meaad Al Khazaie and Nayla Ahmed Hassan Al Doy, who were drawn from a huge number of entrants who took part.
Tickets are still available for the race and can be purchased at the BIC's stands at Seef Mall and Bahrain City Centre, the BIC Welcome Centre in Sakhir, online at www.bahraingp.com or by phone on 17450000.-TradeArabia News Service