LONDON – On June 1, marking its return back to the North of England, the Bahrain flag carrier airline, Gulf Air, has re-inaugurated its scheduled services back to Manchester.
Marking its return since stopping services back in the 1990s, Gulf Air has re-commenced its scheduled services to Manchester Airport (MAN) in the north of England.
However, compared to the original services back in the early 1990s, the new service is direct to Bahrain rather than via Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The new service will be operated on a two times per week basis on Wednesdays and Sundays. There did use to be a Friday service announced but this has since been dropped by the carrier.
The new route will be operated by Gulf Air’s fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The carrier currently has seven of the Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet with a further three more on order for a total of 10 of the type.
With Gulf Air restarting at Manchester, this marks the sixth Middle Eastern carrier to presently serve the airport. The five other carriers are Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi, and Kuwait Airways.
Oman Air previously served Manchester, however, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the carrier is yet to return to the airport to operate its direct services to Muscat in Oman.
With services to Bahrain becoming direct for Manchester’s passengers, we may see Gulf Air expand in the future adding additional services to cope with a potential growth in the demand for the service.
The interim Managing Director for Manchester Airport, Ian Costigan, has commented on Gulf Air’s restart, “It’s great news that Gulf Air is starting direct flights from Manchester Airport, and I am sure it will be incredibly well received by the thousands of people in our catchment area that travel there indirectly each year.”
“The announcement of a third long-haul route coming to Manchester within the last month clearly shows the role we play in connecting the North to key global destinations. Not only do routes like these make travel easier, but they put the region on the international map for trade, economic and tourism opportunities, plus create a wealth of jobs in the process.”
Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Captain Waleed AlAlawai adds, “We are delighted to announce the launch of our Bahrain-Manchester direct route as part of the historic Bahraini-UK official and commercial relations. Manchester has been on our horizon for a while due to our customers’ demand; and as travel bounces back to normalcy, we knew it was the right time to launch it for our valued passengers.”
“We are certain this new and exciting destination will further strengthen our network in the UK and Europe, and we look forward to serving our passengers to and from Manchester.”
Marketing Manchester’s Managing Director, Sheona Southern, has said, “We’re delighted to see this brand-new twice-weekly flight from Bahrain to Manchester Airport being added to the route network.”
“Routes old and new are rapidly returning at Manchester Airport, proving that the demand for international travel and tourism is back, and we look forward to offering a warm welcome to visitors from the GCC region who will be arriving with Gulf Air from June 1.”
Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, also says, “The investment from Gulf Air is a huge vote of confidence in our region and cements Manchester Airport’s status as the gateway to the Northern Powerhouse. Better connectivity between the north and the Middle East is vital for bolstering trade, investment, and tourism, delivering a huge economic boost and creating more jobs.”
Finally, Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency, adds, “Providing a direct route between Greater Manchester and Bahrain presents an excellent opportunity for trade and developing strong partnerships.”
“In the last five years we’ve seen a steady rise in interest from businesses in the GCC region and this increased connectivity will help us to enhance market opportunities and mutual knowledge exchange,” he stated.