Gulf Air Opens Two Fifth Freedom Routes In One Week

Bahrain’s Gulf Air is looking to expand its presence globally and become more recognizable outside of its core market. As such, the carrier has recently launched two fifth freedom routes. One will operate between Larnaca and Athens with an A320neo, and one between Singapore and Bangkok, on one of the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Gulf Air, Boeing 787, Sustainable Aviation Fuels
Bahrain’s national airline launched two new fifth freedom routes on Friday in a move to expand its network. Photo: Getty Images

Exciting development, airline says

Gulf Air announced Friday that it had launched not one but two new fifth freedom routes. Passengers can now travel with the Bahraini flag carrier between Athens, Greece, and Larnaca, Cyprus, to the west, as well as Bangkok, Thailand, and Singapore to the east. The airline said the move would allow it to expand operations to new destinations as well as extend passenger services to new markets.

“This is an exciting development for the national carrier of Bahrain. Now, not only we operate from and to our hub, but we will also operate from and to foreign points and give the opportunity to more passengers to experience our Arabian hospitality at a local level in their own markets,” Captain Waleed Al Alawi, acting CEO for Gulf Air, told Arabian Business.

The airline’s Chief Executive further added that Gulf Air had studied the demand between the two city pairs. Subsequently, it found the combinations the right start to a broader plan to expand operations globally. The carrier also wants to be more visible in the local markets in which it operates.

Gulf Air Tail
Gulf Air is hoping to become more visible in local markets and has far-reaching plans for expansion. Photo: Getty Images

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BAH-LCA-ATH twice weekly

According to ch-aviation, Gulf Air has scheduled twice-weekly services operating Bahrain-Larnaca-Athens and return with an Airbus A320neo. The first flight appearing on flight radar tracking sites was GF944 today, June 25th, leaving Manama and Bahrain International Airport (BAH) at 09:40 local time, with A9C-TB, a two-year-old A320neo. The scheduled departure time from LCA is 14:00, with arrival in Athens at 15:45.

The return flight, GF945, is scheduled to take off from ATH at 16:30 and then from LCA at 19:05, arriving back in Bahrain after three hours and 15 minutes at 22:20 local time.

Gulf Air Opens Two Fifth Freedom Routes In One Week
Gulf Air will operate one of its Dreamliners on its weekly BAH-SIN-BKK route. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

Dreamliner between SIN and BKK once per week

Meanwhile, the carrier’s service Bahrain-Singapore-Bangkok will operate once per week with one of the airline’s 787-9 Dreamliners, of which it received its first a little over three years ago.

The outward journey operates as Flight GF165 and departs Bahrain on Sundays at 23:50, then onwards from Singapore (SIN) at 14:15, arriving at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at 15:35.

On the way back, Flight GF166, leaves BKK as soon as 16:50. Departure from Singapore is at 20:21, with arrival back in Bahrain at 00:15.

Gulf Air also announced last month that all of its flights would be crewed by fully-vaccinated airline crew, including pilots and flight attendants.

What do you make of Gulf Air’s new fifth freedom routes? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.