By Arturo Higueras
Gulf Air Opens New Route with Singapore
As the summer arrives, many airlines are beginning to operate new routes to improve this year’s operation. One of them is Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Yesterday, the Middle Eastern airline operated its first flight between its base in Bahrein International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport.
The flight, operating as GF165, landed in Singapore at 12:25 on April 4. It was operated with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (registration A9C-FG) with 26 Falcon Gold seats and 256 economy class seats. From now onwards, it will connect both countries with one weekly frequency operated on the weekends.
Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Captain, Waleed Al Alawi, said: “We’re happy to land in Singapore and expand our network with direct flights connecting Bahrain and the Far East. This is a great opportunity for everyone to try our state-of-the-art Dreamliner and explore our latest boutique and premium leisure destination”
It has been a busy week for the airline, as it was also one of the main players of the Formula 1 Grand Prix celebrated in Bahrain. As part of the weekend, they performed several low emission flyovers over the Sakhir circuit with their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner using sustainable aviation fuel provided by Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel, which reduces carbon emissions by 80%.
“Each year, Gulf Air takes great pride in being the title sponsor of the Formula 1 race at the Bahrain International Circuit. This year, we mark the beginning of the race with a truly special low commission flypast highlighting our future strategy to explore the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in our aircraft and standing by our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Al Alawi
Last week, IATA asked Gulf countries to develop recovery plans for the coming months. According to data published in February, traffic in the region in January 2021 was 82.3% less than the same month in 2019. Moreover, Middle Eastern airlines posted combined losses of $7.1 billion while receiving $4.8 billion in government aid.
As a result, Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East, said, “Re-establishing air connectivity will energise the economic recovery from Covid-19. With millions of jobs at risk from the prolonged shutdown, not a day should be lost once the epidemiological situation enables a re-opening. Restarting safely after a year or more in lockdown will need careful preparations.”
“With Qatar Airways already piloting IATA Travel Pass and Emirates, Etihad and Gulf Air signed up for trials, the Gulf is at the forefront of preparations,” he continued highlighting the importance of this type of initiatives to restore air passengers confidence.