Gulf Air Resumes Service to Shiraz After 26 Months of Cancellations

The national carrier of Bahrain has announced that it will be resuming flights to Shiraz in Iran from December 2014.

Becoming the airline’s 40th destination, the route to the capital of Fars Province will be operated three times weekly using Airbus A320 aircraft, starting December 15, 2014.

The service was initially halted in 2011 after the unrest that hit the nation, but Gulf Air has been attempting to regain services since 2012.

The airline said it was planning to restart flights to Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan in 2012, but the relaunch was delayed after the airline struggled to obtain approval from aviation authorities.

 “Gulf Air regrets to announce its services between Bahrain and Iran have been deferred until further notice,” the company said in a statement in 2012. “The postponement has become necessary following the delay in receiving approval from the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority of the airline’s flight schedule as permitted under the terms of the current bilateral agreement.”

However, the airline has since regained services to Iran, with Shiraz becoming the third Iranian destination, supplementing existing operations to Tehran.

 “We are further strengthening and supplementing our Iran operations after the recent resumption of flights to both Mashhad (December 2013) and Tehran (March 2014) this year,”Gulf Air acting chief executive Maher Salman Al Musallam said.

“Gulf Air's Shiraz flights, with our attractive schedule and short flight times, will cater to the strong passenger demand we have seen in the market, and so we hope that this, our 40th route, will appeal to travellers and be a success.”

As one of the Middle East's largest network carriers, Gulf Air is well-positioned to connect Iran to several key Middle Eastern, European and Asian destinations with excellent connectivity through its efficient hub in Bahrain.

The short-haul Bahrain – Shiraz route will operate both ways on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Our above analysis shows O&D two-way passenger demand between Bahrain and Iran 2004-2013. As the analysis highlights, the sum of passengers dramatically dropped between 2011 and 2013, with a 58% decrease alone between 2012 and 2013.