Jazeera Airways chairman Marwan Boodai, Dubai
Airports CEO Paul Griffiths and Al Musallam at the airport.
Above: Gulf Air plane at the airport
Gulf Air first in at new Dubai airport
Dubai , October 27, 2013
By Sree Bhat
Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air, today (October 27) became the first passenger airline to land at the new Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, UAE.
The special A320 ER flight from Bahrain carrying Gulf Air executives and media personnel was welcomed by Dubai Airports officials at the airport, which is located in Dubai World Central (DWC) a new purpose-built aerotropolis located in Jebel Ali.
The new airport was opened this morning by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Following the inauguration, he toured the new airport with dignitaries and aviation officials.
Gulf Air will also be the first full-service carrier to fly into Al Maktoum International when the airline commences a daily service from Bahrain on December 8.
The new flight will be in addition to the airline’s current operation of 51 flights per week, said Gulf Air Acting CEO Maher Salman Al Musallam, addressing a press conference after the official opening of the airport.
The flight will cater to passengers who wish to travel to the New Dubai areas and the announcement on the new flight has been received well by the airline's customers, he said.
The airport’s close proximity to the holiday, residential and business developments of Arabian Ranches, Dubai Marina, Dubai Media City and Palm Jumeirah, make it an attractive alternative for passengers visiting these areas, Gulf Air said.
Speaking to TradeArabia, Al Musallam said Gulf Air performance this year has been much better than the previous years and the airline's focus will continue to be on regional growth.
He said apart from the new service to Al Maktoum International, Gulf Air will introduce new flights to regional destinations in the coming year.
Al Mussallam said the airline will fly to Sialkot in Pakistan “soon” while the resumption of flights to the Indian city of Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum) is also “under consideration”.
The airline is “not in a race” with other major international Gulf carriers and aims to expand through regional growth rather than creating a hub, he said. - TradeArabia News Service