Gulf Air to fly three more Saudi destinations
Manama, November 1, 2011
Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air, in further expanding its operations into Saudi Arabia, today announced services to three more destinations – Gassim, Yanbu and Taif.
The new destinations take the total number of cities covered by the airline in the kingdom to seven.
Services to Taif will begin from January 15, 2012 with four flights per week while flights to Gassim will start on January 17 with three flights per week. Yanbu services will begin from February 15 with three flights a week.
Gulf Air said the special inaugural promotional fares to these Saudi cities start at BD70 ($186) plus taxes. The airline has also announced a triple bonus miles to its Falconflyer members travelling to these cities applicable from the date of travel for three months.
Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali said: “Bahrain’s relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is historical dating back to centuries and, being the national carrier of Bahrain, we owe a special place for the Kingdom as it has also been part of the airline’s history since its beginning. It is one of the first three countries that we began our services to, landing in Dhahran in 1950. Currently we operate to four destinations- Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh and Madinah. The launch of services to these new destinations further demonstrates this commitment by connecting people from far corners of the kingdom to travel across the world through Gulf Air.
“And for Gulf Air, these new destinations manifest our new strategy to identify and serve niche and under-served markets and, create potentially high yield city-pairs by providing direct service to Bahrain and beyond. It is one more example of our pioneering tradition, establishing our leadership position as we become the first international airline to fly into Taif. I would like to thank the Saudi authorities for their cooperation in getting necessary permissions,” said Majali.
Gulf Air chief commercial officer Karim Makhlouf added: “Saudi Arabia has always been, and will be, an important market for us as the announcement of these three new destinations reiterate. We are proud of the fact that we are the largest international carrier into Saudi Arabia in terms of connecting more destinations thus expanding the commercial, tourism and religious travel opportunities between the two countries and beyond.“
He added: “As the Middle East’s largest network carrier, we are well positioned to connect all these seven cities to the vast Mena, Far East and Indian subcontinent markets and vice versa. With nearly 700 flights per week within the region, our Saudi customers will be able to find a flight to their destination in the shortest possible connecting time via our efficient hub Bahrain.
“Just like the other recently launched routes that have been well-embraced by our customers, I am confident these three routes will also receive our customers’ support,” concluded Makhlouf.
Taif: Gulf Air will operate four flights per week to Taif with an Embraer 170 aircraft. Taif is the fourth largest city in Saudi Arabia and also one of the holy cities for Muslims worldwide because of its strategic location between Jeddah and Mainah. The city is one of the most popular holiday resorts in the region because of its generous rainfall and pleasant year-round climate.
Gassim: The city will be served three times a week with an A319 and Embraer 170 aircraft in a two-class configuration. Situated close to Riyadh, Gassim is the fifth largest city in Saudi Arabia with hundreds of small and medium industries employing thousands of workforce from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.
Yanbu: Gulf Air will be operating three flights week to Yanbu using an A319 aircraft.
Yanbu is a thriving industrial and port city known for its several oil production facilities, a petrochemical complex, and a large desalination plant. Yanbu also boasts of a large commercial port and a naval base. As such the city is home to thousands of oil and gas contract professionals and workers from Europe and the Indian sub-continent. In addition, the city is a popular scuba diving location for foreigners based in GCC countries. – TradeArabia News Service