Gulf Air adds eighth destination this year

July 12, 2011

Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, has relaunched its service to Nairobi, its eighth destination in 2011 in its quest to expand beyond the Middle East.

“We are pleased to see our service re-launched to Nairobi in Kenya, our fourth destination in the African continent,” Marcus Bernhardt, Gulf Air Chief Operations Officer, said.

“Kenya has seen some impressive economic growth in recent years and we feel it is just the right time for us to be back to this great country. With the addition of Nairobi we have opened eight destinations this year, which demonstrates our strategy of connecting key potential and underserved markets with the Kingdom of Bahrain and beyond,” he said minutes before boarding the inaugural flight.

According to Bernhardt, Gulf Air has scheduled services for good connections through Bahrain “to allow passengers to take advantage of the airline’s regional network – the largest in the region – and to travel to Asia, Africa and Europe through its base in Bahrain.”

“By re-connecting Nairobi with Bahrain, we are re-opening a huge commercial and tourism opportunity for entrepreneurs and businessmen from both markets. We are confident this new route will be a success for both our passenger and cargo operations, and we look forward to facilitating business and leisure traffic between the two countries and beyond,” Bernhardt said.

In Nairobi, the official said at a press conference that Gulf Air would operate an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration and that there would be four flights daily from Bahrain to Nairobi on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday and four flights weekly from Nairobi to Bahrain on Monday, Tuesday and two flights on Friday.

“With Bahrain’s business friendly economic policies and its strategic location at the doorstep of Saudi Arabia offering direct access to a multi-million dollar business market, I can assure the trade and business community of Kenya that there is a huge market waiting for them,” Bernhardt said.

Gulf Air suspended flights to the Kenyan capital in 2006 for “reasons of restructuring the company.”

“Previous management was restructuring the company at the time going back and focusing on their local markets more than on external markets.

“We would like to expand now into those countries where we feel there is a huge benefit,” Bernhardt said.

Muriithi Ndegwa, Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director, said that with around 15,000 tourists visiting from the Gulf region last year, the new Gulf Air flight to Nairobi opens immense tourist opportunities.

“Coming to Nairobi four times a week will produce and give us an opportunity for us to be able to get more people in this market,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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