By Alex Delmar-Morgan
Bahrain’s national carrier will resume flights, 33 years after grounding its Iraq services.
Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air announced on Wednesday it would resume flights to Iraq, 33 years after grounding services to the country.
Following talks between the Bahrani and Iraqi governments last week, direct services are set to operate between Bahrain and four cities in Iraq, with seven flights a week to Baghdad and 12 to Iraq’s holy city of Najaf, Gulf Air said in a statement.
Flights to Baghdad will start in September and services to Najaf will begin pending further work on its airport, Gulf Air executive chairman Talal Al Zain said in the statement.
Demand, particularly from Bahrani nationals, has put pressure on the carrier to resume services to Iraq.
According to Iraqi officials around 25,000 visit visas were issued to Bahrainis last year.
“There is clearly a demand for a direct service from Bahrain to Iraq,” Al Zain added.
Gulf Air first started flying to Iraq’s capital Baghdad in 1976. The airline was founded in 1950 and is owned by the $10bn Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding company, the investment arm of the Bahraini government.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.