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Links between the North and the Middle East are to be strengthened further as Gulf Air prepare to begin direct flights between Bahrain and Manchester from 1st June.
The two flights a week scheduled for the airline are set to be a boost for businesses, tourism organisations, universities and those visiting friends and family. 28,000 people per year travel between Bahrain and Manchester Aiport’s catchment, with a further 2,000,000 travelling to onward destinations served by Gulf Air, including Bangkok, Mumbai and Delhi.
The new route from Gulf Air bolsters the existing direct links between Manchester and the Middle East offered by other airlines, including Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Kuwait Airways, which launched its first direct flights earlier this year.
Ian Costigan, Interim Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said:
“It’s great news that Gulf Air is starting direct flights from Manchester Airport, and I am sure it will be incredibly well received by the thousands of people in our catchment area that travel there indirectly each year.
“The announcement of a third long-haul route coming to Manchester within the last month clearly shows the role we play in connecting the North to key global destinations. Not only do routes like these make travel easier, but they put the region on the international map for trade, economic and tourism opportunities, plus create a wealth of jobs in the process.
“I look forward to welcoming the team from Gulf Air to the airport and wish them every success with the route.”
Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Captain Waleed AlAlawi said:
“We are delighted to announce the launch of our Bahrain–Manchester direct route as part of the historic Bahraini–UK official and commercial relations. Manchester has been on our horizon for a while due to our customers’ demand; and as travel bounces back to normalcy, we knew it was the right time to launch it for our valued passengers. We are certain this new and exciting destination will further strengthen our network in the UK and Europe, and we look forward to serving our passengers to and from Manchester.”
Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said
“This investment from Gulf Air is a huge vote of confidence is our region and cements Manchester Airport’s status as the gateway to the Northern Powerhouse.
“Better connectivity between the north and the Middle East is vital for bolstering trade, investment and tourism, delivering a huge economic boost and creating more jobs.”
Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency said
“Providing a direct route between Greater Manchester and Bahrain presents an excellent opportunity for trade and developing strong partnerships. In the last five years we’ve seen a steady rise in interest from businesses in the GCC region and this increased connectivity will help us to enhance market opportunities and mutual knowledge exchange.”
The route will be served by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with economy and business class cabins (pictured).
Gulf Air is the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and commenced operations in 1950, becoming one of the first commercial airlines established in the Middle East.