Gulf Air has announced on social media that exciting things are happening on its network. Among these is that it is now operating daily Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flights to and from London Heathrow.
Gulf Air increases its flight 787 schedule
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s flag carrier Gulf Air has resumed daily flights between Bahrain and London Heathrow Airport on its 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The posts on its Facebook and Twitter feeds didn’t give any details but, as well as London, the airline is also operating daily 787 flights to and from Manila and has added more daily flights to Dubai.
Gulf Air’s current network includes Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Jordan, Kuwait, the Maldives, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK. The airline said today that it is upgrading several of its flights to and from the Maldives to the Boeing 787.
In September, the airline caused a little confusion when it announced its resumption of direct flights to India on September 14. However, flights were not available for regular booking until October 15. It appears that it was ‘air bubble’ flights and not scheduled flights being resumed.
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Gulf Air’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet
According to Planespotters.net, Gulf Air, which celebrated its 70th birthday this year, currently has seven Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with two more on order. Of the aircraft, six are in service and one parked. The aircraft entered service between April 2018 and October 2019 and have an average age of 2.1 years. They are configured with 26 Falcon Gold business class open suites and 256 standard economy seats.
Gulf Air says that its economy class seats have a 32-inch pitch, in-seat power supply, USB ports and an 11.6-inch entertainment screen with a touchscreen controller. The business class suites offer fully reclining seats with 80-89-inch pitch, a privacy screen, a 22-inch entertainment screen, an in-seat power supply and two USB ports.
Thawing of Bahrain – Israel relations
As tensions in the Middle East continue to ease, Gulf Air made its first commercial flight to Israel in November 2020. Onboard the 787-9 Dreamliner landing at Tel Aviv were several Bahraini government officials keen on further talks with Israel following the establishment of formal ties in September.
Last week, in the latest step in Middle Eastern diplomatic relations, Gulf Air and Israeli flag carrier El Al signed a historic codeshare agreement. The agreement will see the Bahraini airline operating twice-weekly flights between Manama and Tel Aviv from January 2021.
The deal follows on from the code-sharing agreement signed in November by El Al and the UAE’s Etihad Airways. This agreement allows for cooperation on direct routes between the two airlines’ nations as well as on wider networks. The deal includes cargo, loyalty programs, and crew training facilities.
More reciprocal agreements may be on the cards in the region. For the first time, Saudi Arabia allowed Israeli aircraft to fly through its airspace this year and might consider new ties to the Gulf nations. With the continuing thawing of relations, the region’s airlines and their customers will benefit from travel between these countries.
What do you think of Gulf Air’s 787 flights to London? Let us know in the comments.