Gulf Air ups Saudi flights, says Oman owes it millions

Airline says state of Oman owes it more than $310 million

Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air has added 11 extra flights to its existing routes to Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to meet what it says is increasing passenger demand. It will operate four extra flights to Jeddah, increasing its frequencies from 10 to 14 a week in each direction from 1 March, while adding seven flights to Riyadh increasing frequencies there from 14 flights a week to 21 in each direction, also from 1 March. Together, these additional flights will offer 3000 seats per week. The new flights reiterate Gulf Air’s objective of providing double-daily and same-day return for business travellers, who now have more options to travel to these cities and return the same day after completing their business without the need to stay overnight in expensive hotel accommodation.
To coincide, Gulf Air has offered a 20% promotional discount between Jeddah/Riyadh and Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai (Madras), Karachi, Lahore, Kathmandu and Bangkok. Gulf Air has been hit by falling passenger demand since the unrest in Bahrain last year. It is said to be seeking government funds to ensure its operations continue.
The airline also reveals that the government in Oman owes it BHD117 million dinars ($310 million) and has been in talks to get the money back since 2007. The sum stems from the time it withdrew as a shareholder of the airline.
TTG / Reuters
[photo courtesy Gulf Air]