Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, will introduce an extra rotation on its flights to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, increasing capacity on the route by over 30% to meet growing market demand. The airline will offer a third daily flight from July 9, 2013, increasing its weekly offering from 14 to 21 services, offering more flexibility for Bahrain and Saudi-based business and leisure travelers and more flights for pilgrims to visit the holy city of Mecca via Jeddah.
“The introduction of additional flights between Jeddah and Bahrain reinforces the importance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a key longstanding market for Gulf Air and is aligned to the airline’s business strategy to concentrate on high-demand routes to ensure its primary customer base is served effectively and efficiently.”Maher Salman AlMusallam
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air
“The introduction of additional flights between Jeddah and Bahrain reinforces the importance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a key longstanding market for Gulf Air and is aligned to the airline’s business strategy to concentrate on high-demand routes to ensure its primary customer base is served effectively and efficiently,” said Maher Salman AlMusallam, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air.
“As part of Gulf Air’s restructuring strategy the airline is committed to strengthening its core services specifically its regional network. Gulf Air is proactively looking for opportunities to strengthen its network through increasing frequencies, enhancing existing codeshare relationships and developing others. We are in the final stages of negotiations to increase frequencies to a number of key destinations in order to offer more convenient travel options to our customers,” he added.
The introduction of the additional flights to Jeddah gives passengers greater choices to connect through Bahrain’s hub to Europe and Asia with Gulf Air and on to North America with the airline’s codeshare partner American Airlines. Gulf Air competes directly with Saudia on the route and over the past five years also faced competition from Bahrain Air up until the latter’s collapse earlier this year. Although bi-directional O&D demand slipped in 2012 to an estimated 138,000 passengers, down 5.8 per cent, the traffic levels are still up considerably on previous years and almost double the levels recorded in 2008.
Gulf Air dominates the O&D demand on the route between Bahrain and Jeddah and last year secured 50 per cent of the total point-to-point traffic, its highest share since 2008 when Bahrain Air first entered the market. Alongside serving Jeddah, Gulf Air also offers flights to Dammam, Madinah and Riyadh. In 2012 an estimated 325,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with Gulf Air holding a 41.5 per cent share of this traffic.