Gulf Air to fly to Kabul

22 Mar 2011 by BusinessTraveller

Gulf Air is to launch four-times weekly flights to Kabul from this June, claiming to be the first “full service scheduled commercial carrier” in the Middle East to serve the Afghan capital.

The flights will commence on June 15 using A320 aircraft, offering 16 Falcon Gold business class seats and 120 in economy.

Flight GF0742 will depart Bahrain on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1115, arriving in Kabul at 1550, with the return leg GF0741 leaving Afghanistan at 1650 and landing back in Bahrain at 1845.

None of the dominant Middle Eastern airlines currently serve Kabul, although Afghan carriers Pamir Airways and Ariana Afghan Airlines fly from the capital to destinations including Ankara, Dubai, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait and Riyadh. Ariana also serves Frankfurt twice-weekly, and Moscow once per week.

Gulf Air’s CEO Samer Majali said the launch of flights to Kabul had followed “extensive safety and security audits”, and added that the Afghan government “is committed to facilitate and promote the development of a dynamic, competitive private sector by closely working in partnership with local businesses to revitalize and expand the economy”.

The carrier has also recently launched flights to Addis Ababa, Isfahan (Iran), Basra, Milan and Geneva.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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