A Bahraini airline says it is struggling to cover the costs of travelling to certain destinations due to the situation in the region.
Bahrain Air says that it is reducing scheduled flights to certain routes to a minimum and suspending all flights to various other destinations.
The company is suffering from a fall in passenger numbers and an increase in the costs of fuel and insurance, said managing director Ibrahim Abdulla Al Hamer.
‘From mid-February until now, the company’s revenue has been affected by the unfortunate political events that the region has been going through in general and in Bahrain in particular,’ he said.
‘This low revenue is attributed to the decrease in passenger traffic due to the reluctance of businessmen, workers and visitors to travel to Bahrain and the region in general.
‘This is in response to directives issued by some embassies to their citizens and the negative and exaggerated media coverage about the events.
‘The development of events has occurred during the same time that has witnessed a drastic increase in cost, which has reached to more than 35 per cent.
‘It includes the increase in costs of aviation fuel and insurance at some airports, to the extent that the revenue from some of the destinations does not even cover the direct costs.’
The situation has forced Bahrain Air to reduce scheduled flights to Damascus and Amman to the minimum and suspend all flights to Najaf, Baghdad in Iraq, Mashhad in Iran and Beirut in Lebanon until June 20 when the situation may stabilise, said Al Hamer.
‘Now the situation is starting to stabilise and flourish in the market,’ he said.
‘We have great confidence that the situation in our beloved Bahrain will return to normal or even better.’
Meanwhile, Al Hamer announced additions to its fleet and service routes over the coming days and months.
‘We will be receiving our new fifth aircraft on Friday and we will be operating to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt from September 15, at a rate of two flights a week at the most convenient timings, which will be announced in due course,’ he said.
Al Hamer said that there were plans to launch a new booking system from tomorrow as well as a new frequent-flyer programme in June.
The summer flying schedule is also expected to be released soon.
Gulf Air yesterday told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) that it too had experienced a drop in passenger demand due to the recent developments.
It said in a statement that services to three countries remain temporarily postponed until further notice, but did not give further details. Agencies