Bahrain International Airport has a brand new terminal, and the country’s national airline is the first carrier to move in. Gulf Air operated its first outbound commercial flight to Delhi on January 28th and also received its first inbound flight from Lahore to the new terminal as well. These flights will be the first of many more as Gulf Air says goodbye to its old home at the old terminal, opened in 1961.
“Taking into consideration all of the updated health and safety measures, the new state-of-the-art lounge will reflect new concepts of modern premium lounges yet keeping with the legacy and rich history of the 70 year old Gulf Air brand.” -Gulf Air
The first flights
Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, operated its first flights from the new facility on January 28th. Outbound, the first flight was GF2130 to Delhi on one of the newest Airbus A320neo aircraft at 14:35 Bahrain time.
The first incoming flight was a Gulf Air 787-9 service from Lahore at 14:50. This flight arrived at 1450 local time.
Gulf Air’s last flight from the old terminal was to Dubai as GF504. This departed at 10:55 as an Airbus A320neo.
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Saying goodbye to the old terminal
Bahrain’s international airport is relatively small, a suitable size for the island nation of 1.6 million people. Indeed, driving across the entire country will take you just over an hour!
However, as the Kingdom’s population has continued to climb steadily, a new and modern terminal was needed for its airport, which was built in 1961. The result is a new terminal with a size four times larger than the previous one. The new facility is expected to accommodate up to 14 million passengers per year.
As reported in a previous Simple Flying article, Gulf Air’s CEO said,
“We started our operations back in 1950 in a small facility in Muharraq [Island] and soon we will see a world-class airport being officially opened to welcome the world to our beloved Kingdom. The new airport is our new home and we are proud to have a bigger, more modern home to be Gulf Air’s hub.”
The new facilities
With its much larger footprint, the new airport terminal will offer much more in the way of shopping and amenities for passengers.
According to The Moodie Davitt Report, the new terminal offers 10,000 square meters of core retail and dining space along with a further 2,000 square meters for “future-proofing.” This commercial space is divided into 54% for retail and 46% for food & beverage.
“BIA’s new duty free area will be four times larger than at the existing terminal, offering passengers an improved shopping experience. The new retail areas will be three times bigger, introducing 30 leading brands for the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Airport tenants and partners will also benefit from greater support.” -BAC Chief Commercial Officer Ayman Zainal via The Moodie Davitt Report
As for Gulf Air’s operations, one of the key highlights will be a new lounge – twice the size of its old facility. Gulf Air says that a number of features will be maintained from its previous lounge as well as newly introduced spaces. These include:
- A children’s area
- Shower rooms
- A prayer space
- A quiet area
- Live cooking stations
- New food & beverage concepts.
Gulf Air’s new Falcon Gold lounge will be functioning “around the clock” and offer a capacity of over 400 passengers at any given time.
Have you ever flown through Bahrain’s International Airport? Are you looking forward to this new terminal? Let us know in the comments!