Bahrain Airline starts GenevaManama route
GENEVA: Bahrain national airline Gulf Air on Tuesday opened a new service between Geneva and Manama, saying the move was aimed at helping boost the island kingdom's links to key financial markets.
The service, operating three times a week, will be flown by Boeing 737-700 extendedrange aircraft.
The launch of the new route comes at a difficult time for the aviation industry. Protests and government crackdowns in the Middle East, including Bahrain, and north Africa stifled air passenger traffic in February, International Air Transport Association figures released on Tuesday showed.
"The political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa during February is estimated to have cut international traffic by about 1 percent," IATA said.
"Demand growth across the region is taking a step back," IATA Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said in a statement.
IATA represents 240 airlines operating 94 percent of all international traffic.
Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Samer Majali told guests at a ceremony to launch the new route it was hoped to attract business and leisure travellers from the Middle East and from Switzerland. -Reuters