BAHRAIN laid out the red carpet last month to welcome Lufthansa German Airlines, which restarted flights to the country after a 10-year gap.
Deputy Prime Minister and Transportation Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa was at the airport to receive the first flight from Frankfurt. The German team was headed by Lufthansa vice-president of area manager for Africa, Middle East and South East Europe, Joachim Steinbach.
At a specially erected tent near the VVIP gate, Shaikh Ali and Lufthansa UAE general manager and director for Gulf, Iran and Pakistan Uwe Wriedt jointly cut a welcome cake and exchanged gifts. Bahrain musicians and artists added colour to the event.
“Lufthansa’s operations come in response to efforts exerted by Bahrain's Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) to attract international airlines to operate their flights to and from Bahrain International Airport (BIA),” Shaikh Ali told newsmen. “CAA’s promotional and marketing strategy has been aimed at activating the role of the airport in providing several travel options to various international destinations. Lufthansa's choice to operate to and from Bahrain also comes in appreciation of the high standards of services and facilities offered to international airlines by the Bahrain International Airport.”
The new service will provide businessmen, citizens and residents more travel options from Bahrain to one of the most important European airports, said Shaikh Ali. He recalled the excellent relationship between Bahrain and Germany. “The new aviation ties will further strengthen these bonds,” said Shaikh Ali.
He added the German airline also took into consideration BIA's reputation for security and safety. CAA Under-Secretary Captain Abdulrahman Al Gaoud was also there to welcome the Lufthansa team.
Wriedt described BIA as one of the pioneering and important airports in the Middle East and praised the high quality of services offered by the airport. “Also by having a representative office of our own in Bahrain, this will afford our existing and certainly new customers more immediate access to our services – with no time, language or cultural barriers blocking the way. Lufthansa continues its strategy of flights to the world’s oil markets and growing industries,” he said in a statement.
The airline operates three flights a week to Bahrain from Frankfurt, using the latest Airbus 330 aircraft. Lufthansa operates on the sectors Frankfurt-Bahrain-Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi-Bahrain-Frankfurt.
The number of flights may be increased in future depending on the demand, said Wriedt. Lufthansa also operates six cargo flights a week to Bahrain.
Lufthansa successfully owns a fleet of 390 aircraft and is among the world’s top ten airlines. It is a founding member of the Star Alliance which flies to over 795 destinations in 139 countries.
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