The first scheduled Gulf Air flight from Manama to Colombo (Sri Lanka) in eight years departed Bahrain International Airport last afternoon.
Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali was joined aboard the flight by company officials, representatives of Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) and Bahrain Airport Company as well as members of the media.
Ten services per week between Bahrain and Colombo have been added to Gulf Air’s schedule, which shows a sudden and growing demand by middle eastern tourists for holidays in Sri Lanka.
GF flight 0062 will take-off from Bahrain at 1pm on Sundays and Tuesdays and arrive in Colombo at 9.05pm local time. Return flights will depart Sri Lanka at 9.50pm on the same days and should touch down at 11.55pm.
Gulf Air’s Wednesday, Thursday and Friday schedules will now feature an 8.40pm service from Bahrain to Colombo, with flights in the other direction departing at 5.30am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Mr Majali said there were great business and tourism opportunities for both countries.
“The country is back in full action with its economy springing back to its dynamic past,” he said.
“I see there is a huge business and tourism opportunity for both countries as we recommence services.”
Colombo is the first of four destinations to be added to Gulf Air’s schedule between now and the end of the year, with Basra set to come on line later this month, Isfahan in Iran early next month and Addis Ababa in December.