By Andy Sambidge
Carrier set to launch services to Gassim, Yanbu and Taif next January, February
Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air said on Tuesday it will expand its services to Saudi Arabia in early 2012.
It announced services to three more destinations - Gassim, Yanbu and Taif, taking the total number of cities served in the kingdom to seven.
Services to Taif will begin on January 15 with four flights per week while flights to Gassim will start two days later with three flights per week. Yanbu services will begin on February 15 with three flights a week.
Gulf Air CEO Samer Majali said: "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."
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."
Gulf Air announced special inaugural promotional fares to the three cities starting at BD70 plus taxes.
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 Medina.
Gassim is the fifth largest city with hundreds of small and medium industries employing thousands of workforce from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.
Yanbu is a thriving industrial and port city located in the western region known for its several oil production facilities, a petrochemical complex, and a large desalination plant.