Bahrain’s Gulf Air set to resume flights to Iranian city

Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, has announced that it will be restarting flights to Shiraz in Iran.

The route to the capital of Fars Province will become the airline’s 40th destination, the airline said, adding that the city will be served with three weekly flights, starting from December 15.

Relations between Bahrain and Iran have been strained by Bahraini accusations that Iran is behind the ani-government unrest, something Iran denies.

in 2012, Gulf Air said it was planning to restart flights to Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan but the relaunch was dogged by delays in getting approval from aviation authorities.

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

“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.”

Shiraz will become the airline’s third Iranian destination supplementing existing operations to Tehran and will operate an Airbus A320 aircraft on the route.

Gulf Air in August said that its year-on-year losses reduced by 30 percent in the first half of 2014.

The airline’s revenues increased by 10 percent during the same period, its chairman said in a statement without giving specific figures.

The increase in revenues “was realised principally through an enhanced revenue stream that was driven by augmented operations, improved load factors and increased connecting traffic,” Gulf Air said.