Bahrain International Airport
- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Route Maps
- Print Summary
- IATA Code
- ICAO Code
- 2530m x 45m
3956m x 60m
- Airlines currently operating to this airport with scheduled services
- Air Arabia
Air India Express
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Polar Air Cargo
- Airlines currently operating to this airport via codeshare
- Aegean Airlines
All Nippon Airways
Delta Air Lines
Royal Air Maroc
South African Airways
Operated by Bahrain Airport Company and located in located on a small island north of the capital Manama, Bahrain International Airport is the main gateway to the city of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The airport hosts passenger and cargo traffic from over 30 carriers including Al-Naser Airlines, United Airlines and Lufthansa Cargo. Bahrain International Airport is the main hub for Gulf Air.
Location of Bahrain International Airport, Bahrain
Ground Handlers servicing Bahrain International Airport
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Cathay Pacific is consolidating its Middle East network, largely prompted by a flood of capacity in the Middle East-Philippines market. Passengers from the Philippines alone often comprise half or more of Cathay's Middle East flights. The Middle East-Philippines market has grown rapidly, led by a 70% increase in UAE-Philippines capacity as Cebu Pacific launched long-haul flights and Emirates and Etihad increased capacity.
The smaller Saudi Arabia-Philippines market has grown by over 60%. The result has been over-capacity with no winners as the market is intensely price-driven by contractors seeking seats for Filipino migrant workers. Cathay's reductions, while small, are likely only the start of needed consolidation between the Philippines and Middle East.
Cathay is particularly at the losing end as its once-tidy Philippines-Middle East market has come under Gulf and LCC competition that can offer lower fares and more direct services. Some Philippines-Middle East markets require two stops due to triangular routings, which are being discontinued. Also discontinued are services to Jeddah and Abu Dhabi. Air Seychelles, 40% owned by Etihad, introduced Abu Dhabi-Hong Kong services in 2013.
While Cathay may not experience such fierce and sudden competition changes elsewhere in its market, it is an unwelcome example of what such vibrant market conditions including more Gulf, LCC and non-stop competition can do to its network, which has partially relied on traffic other carriers could not or did not bother to carry. While that has been a smart network foundation, it is also a shifting one, as European carriers and even Singapore Airlines have found.
Regional political uncertainty and social turmoil have not been able to stop low-cost carriers in the Middle East from reporting another profitable six months. Two of the region’s key privately owned LCCs, the Sharjah-based Air Arabia and the Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways, have both posted strong profits in 1H2013.
In addition to this, the region’s other two LCCs, the privately owned nasair and the emirate of Dubai-controlled flydubai are anticipating profitable full year results. flydubai reported a maiden profit in 2012 and is looking to continue this momentum into 2013.
nasair has not yet reported a break-even year, despite being launched in 2007, but a restructuring in late 2012 has already seen the carrier reporting profits on a monthly basis.
Gulf Air’s latest attempt at a turn around, launched in late 2012, appears to be quickly producing concrete results for the struggling Bahraini national carrier. The latest in a long line of revival attempts, the plan has dramatically downsized the Gulf’s oldest airline in an attempt to end the years of heavy losses.
At the end of 1Q2013, Gulf Air announced it achieved a 21% cut in overall costs during the quarter, crediting the improvement to a reduction in aircraft leasing fees, cuts to flight-related charges and staff expenses and the closure of loss-making routes.
Yields were up 21% year-on-year in the quarter, thanks to stronger traffic demand in the region and significantly higher sales in Bahrain, as well as its broader fleet and network restructuring. As a consequence, the carrier reported that losses in 1Q2013 were approximately half what they had been in 1Q2012.
As another Gulf Air CEO has come and gone, the Bahraini government again picks up the task of plotting a new path for the formerly multi-national airline.
The carrier’s board announced on 29-Nov-2012 that it had accepted the resignation of widely respected airline executive, Mr Samer Majali – which he submitted earlier this year – following the appointment of a new Gulf Air board in mid-Nov-2012. Mr Majali will remain in his position until the end of 2012.
And so the troubled and politically muddled airline stumbles onwards with continuing political meddling and no clear direction for its future. With Mr Majali's departure, the prospects for Gulf Air's recovery become even more slender.
In a parallel development, the Bahrain Parliament has also voted to replace the carrier’s entire board as well as wiping out two external consultancy contracts. A new board has been announced, led by the deputy premier and consisting of a mix of Bahraini parliamentarians, advisors to Bahrain’s royal court and representatives from the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, which has ownership of the carrier.
Gulf Air will continue to fight another day. After months of uncertainty over the outlook for the carrier, the Bahrain Government and the National Assembly have agreed to invest additional funds to keep the carrier afloat, according to a report in the state-run Bahraini News Agency. However, even if it does get the funds, Gulf Air may emerge from its latest bailout package a radically changed entity.
At a meeting involving Bahrain’s Deputy Premier, Finance Minister, Transport Minster and the heads and chairmen of parliamentary blocs and committees and members of Financial and Economic Affairs Committees this week, it was decided that Bahrain will continue to provide long-term financial support for the airline. The Shura and Representatives councils – the two chambers of the National Assembly – have informally agreed to a Bahraini Government request to pump additional funds into the airline to allow it to settle some debts and dues.
After suffering through local political unrest and the wider repercussions of the Arab Spring in 2011, Bahrain’s two local airlines may finally have something to smile about. Gulf Air and Bahrain Air have both reported improving market conditions and stronger passenger numbers even though some regional instability remains and the two airlines face intense competition in local markets.
Bahrain Air has even reported a couple of profitable months of operations, although neither carrier is in an enviable position. The two airlines are on decidedly better ground than they were 12 months ago, when traffic levels were down by nearly 30% in the early part of 2011. Traffic at Bahrain International Airport has bounced back significantly in the past few months, although passenger numbers have only just recovered to levels seen in 2010.
Gulf Air reported 1H2012 revenue rose 6% year-on-year, although the airline did not report any net figures as it recovers from the Arab Spring related downturn in 2011.