Bahrain International Airport

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Bahrain International Airport
مطار البحرين الدولي
Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī
Bahrain Airport Company Logo.png
Airport type Public
Operator Bahrain Airport Company
Serves Bahrain
Location Al Muharraq
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 6 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 26°16′15″N 50°38′01″E / 26.27083°N 50.63361°E / 26.27083; 50.63361
Bahrain International Airport is located in Bahrain
Bahrain International Airport
Bahrain International Airport
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12L/30R 12,979 3,956 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passengers 8,766,151
Passenger change 15–16 Increase2.0%
Aircraft movements 101,345
Movements change 15-16 Increase1.0%
Cargo (MT) 217,056
Cargo change 15-16 Increase4.0%
Source: Statistics from Bahrain Airport 2015,[1] ACI's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report.

Bahrain International Airport (IATA: BAHICAO: OBBI) (Arabic: مطار البحرين الدولي‎‎, maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī) is the international airport of Bahrain, located in Muharraq, an island about 7 km (4.3 mi) northeast of the capital Manama. It serves as the hub for the national carrier Gulf Air.


Early years[edit]

The first scheduled commercial airliner to arrive in Bahrain, in 1932, was a flight from London to Delhi operated on a Handley Page H.P.42 aircraft named Hannibal." The H.P.42 carried only 24 passengers, and the flight from London had taken several days of flying at speeds of 100 miles per hour. Through this regularly scheduled service, Bahrain became established as the Persian Gulf's first international airport.[2]

During World War II, the airport was used by the United States Army Air Forces Air Transport Command Central African Wing, being designated as Station # 13. It functioned as a stopover en route to Abadan Airport, Iran or Sharjah Airport, in present-day UAE on the Karachi-Cairo route.[3] From 1943 until Bahrain's independence in December 1971, the Royal Air Force maintained a military installation at the airfield known initially as RAF Bahrain and from 1963 as RAF Muharraq.[4][5] The majority of these facilities were later acquired by the Bahraini flag carrier airline, Gulf Air, while a small portion continues to be utilized by the U.S. Navy as Aviation Support Unit (ASU) Bahrain.

Through the years[edit]

In 1936, the operation of H.P.42 aircraft from London to India via Bahrain had been stepped up to a twice-weekly frequency. In 1937, Bahrain saw the regular service of the Empire sea planes. The landing strip of these giants on the water was from where the marina club is located in Mina Salman today. From the 1950s, BOAC operated several services a week through Bahrain. These included weekly services to Karachi, Singapore, Hong Kong and three times a week to Sydney. 1950 was a significant year not only for Muharraq as an international airport, but also for Bahrain's own commercial aviation history. In this year, a new local airline, Gulf Aviation Company, was formed - the forerunner of Gulf Air. The company started with only one aircraft, a second-hand Anson Mark II, which was used initially on services to Dhahran. But within two years, the fleet had expanded to four de Havilland aircraft and DC-3s for use on a steadily growing network in the Persian Gulf. This established Bahrain as an international stage. It was easily the most modern and advanced airport in the Persian Gulf with a good runway, control tower, lighting, communication facilities and even restaurants. It began to attract other carriers such as Middle East Airlines, Air India, Air Ceylon and Iran Air - mostly operating Dakotas. In December 1961, a new passenger terminal opened at the airport. During 1970–1971, RAF Muharraq was scaled back and eventually closed. In December 1971, the airport opened new passenger facilities, which included a wide area that could accommodate four 747 aircraft. In 1976, the airport marked another significant first with the inauguration of supersonic flights, which saw the start up of regular BA Concorde service between London and Bahrain.

In the 1980s and 1990s, major facelifts took place and several major airline companies made the airport a destination. In 1994, a US$100 million terminal was inaugurated.

Development in the 2000s[edit]

A BD113m ($300 million) expansion and refurbishment program was launched in the third quarter of 2006 which will see the creation of a new multi-storey car park and retail complex adjacent to the main terminal building. The expansion also includes a full resurfacing of the main runway, a new perimeter fence, state-of-the-art security systems and additional aircraft parking bays. Runway 12R/30L is mostly used as a taxiway.

It was announced on October 8, 2009 that BHD 1.8 billion expansion of Bahrain International Airport is going to start in 2010. The expansion, planned over the next 30 years, will triple the passenger capacity to 27 million a year. Work on the airport's expansion officially began in June 2011 and is expected to be completed by 2015. The expanded airport will increase the airport's size by an additional 40,000m², including more than 3,000m² of new retail facilities. It will also create 4 to 5 additional contact gates, 9 remote gates and 40 more check-in counters as well as an enlarged transfer facility amongst several other capacity improvements and value added facilities[6]

In 2010, Bahrain Airport was named as the winner of the Best Airport in the Middle East Award at the Skytrax 2010 World Airport Awards. It has also received many other awards[7]

Two new terminals will be opened in the next four years as part of the expansion. Terminal Two will be commissioned by 2012 and Terminal 1A will become operational a year later. The expansion will include all modern facilities, including leisure areas, shopping centers, hotels and anything else that a modern traveler needs, will be incorporated in the new development. The expansion will also include a swimming pool. The present terminal building (Terminal 1) will be demolished in 2014 and replaced with a brand new state-of-the-art structure within a few years. Construction of Terminal 2 will begin early in 2010. There will be 110 aircraft stands including 87 with contact gates and 23 without. This also includes 17 new remote aircraft parking bays, installation of automatic baggage screening facilities, improved ground handling and overall new passenger handling standards.

The cargo handling capacity will also increase from the present 350,000 cubic meters to 1.5 million cubic meters. All ground handling facilities at the airport were being enhanced in collaboration with the company that manages Munich Airport in Germany. A new VIP terminal and an Airport Center that will includes shops, entertainment facilities and car parking will be developed as part of the project.[8][9][10]

There are plans to build light rail lines which would connect the airport to the rest of Bahrain.[11]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations Terminal
Air Arabia Sharjah 1
Air India Delhi 1
Air India Express Kochi, Kozhikode, Kuwait, Mangalore 2
British Airways London–Heathrow 2
Cathay Pacific Dubai–International, Hong Kong 2
EgyptAir Cairo 1
Emirates Dubai–International 2
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi 2
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa[12] 1
flydubai Dubai–International 2
Gulf Air Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Amman–Queen Alia, Athens, Baghdad, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beirut, Cairo, Chennai, Colombo,[13] Dammam, Dhaka,[14] Delhi, Dubai–International, Faisalabad,[15] Frankfurt, Gassim, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul–Atatürk, Jeddah, Karachi, Khartoum, Kochi, Kuwait, Lahore, Larnaca, London–Heathrow, Manila, Medina, Moscow–Domodedovo, Multan,[15] Mumbai, Muscat, Najaf, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Riyadh, Sialkot, Tbilisi,[16] Thiruvananthapuram 1
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf 1
Jazeera Airways Kuwait 2
Jet Airways Mumbai 2
KLM Amsterdam, Kuwait 1
Kuwait Airways Kuwait 1
Lufthansa Dammam, Frankfurt 2
Oman Air Muscat 2
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen 2
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh 1
SriLankan Airlines Colombo 1
Syrian Air Damascus[17] 1
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen 1
Wataniya Airways Kuwait 1


Airlines Destinations
Cargolux Luxembourg, Mumbai
DHL Aviation
operated by AeroLogic
Karachi, Leipzig/Halle[18]
DHL Aviation
operated by Atlas Air
DHL Aviation
operated by Kalitta Air
Amsterdam, Bagram, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Cincinnati, Hong Kong, Karachi, Kiev–Boryspil, Liège, New York–JFK, Sharjah
DHL Aviation
operated by Polar Air Cargo
DHL Aviation
operated by Southern Air
DHL International Aviation ME Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Bagram, Cairo, Dubai–International, Jeddah, Kandahar, Karachi, Kuwait, Lahore
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum,[19] Zaragoza
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt
MyCargo Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Southern Air Hong Kong
operated by Swiftair Bahrain
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul–Atatürk, Phnom Penh


Traffic figures[edit]

Traffic by calendar year. Official ACI Statistics
Passengers Change from previous year Aircraft operations Change from previous year Cargo
(metric tons)
Change from previous year
2005 5,581,503 Increase 8.50% 73,891 Increase 1.88% 334,832 Increase10.91%
2006 6,696,025 Increase19.97% 80,538 Increase 9.00% 357,277 Increase 6.70%
2007 7,320,039 Increase 9.32% 87,417 Increase 8.54% 385,278 Increase 7.84%
2008 8,758,068 Increase19.65% 101,203 Increase17.77% 369,822 Decrease 4.01%
2009 9,053,631 Increase 3.37% 103,727 Increase 2.49% 342,734 Decrease 7.32%
2010 8,898,197 Decrease 1.72% 106,355 Increase 2.53% 329,937 Decrease 3.73%
2011 7,793,527 Decrease12.41% 102,068 Decrease 4.03% 292,147 Decrease11.45%
2012 8,479,266 Increase 8.80% 105,931 Increase 3.78% 262,386 Decrease10.19%
2013 7,371,651 Decrease13.06% 90,837 Decrease 14.25% 245,145 Decrease6.57%
2014 8,102,502 Increase 9.91% 96,193 Increase 5.90% 219,332 Decrease10.53%
2015 8,586,645 Increase 5.97% 100,625 Increase 4.61% 207,936 Decrease5.20%
Source: Airports Council International. World Airport Traffic Reports
(Years 2005,[20] 2006,[21] 2007,[22] 2009,[23] 2011,[24] 2012,[25] 2013,[26] 2014[27] and 2015[28])

Busiest routes[edit]

Busiest routes at Bahrain International Airport (by number of flights weekly)
Rank City Country Number of flights
1 Dubai  United Arab Emirates 111
2 Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates 76
3 Muscat  Oman 55
4 Kuwait City  Kuwait 50
5 Riyadh  Saudi Arabia 35
6 Jeddah  Saudi Arabia 31
7 Dammam  Saudi Arabia 30
8 Istanbul  Turkey 24
9 London  United Kingdom 21
10 Mumbai  India 21
11 Amman  Jordan 20
12 Cairo  Egypt 19
13 Frankfurt  Germany 14

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Traffic Statistic DEC 2016
  2. ^ Bahrain International Airport :: About Us - History Archived 2008-08-19 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  3. ^ USAFHRA document 00181427
  4. ^ Overseas Stations-M Air of Authority.
  5. ^ "RAF Muharraq". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Traveller Portal - Bahrain International Airport : Home". Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Skytrax 2010 World Airport Awards - Middle East". Skytrax. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-04-01. 
  8. ^ Local News " Airport Of The Future. Gulf Daily News (2009-10-08). Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  9. ^ Bahrain airport plans two new terminals | Aviation. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  10. ^ Local News " Jetting into the future. Gulf Daily News (2009-10-08). Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  11. ^ "Sekkah Product Review Pro & Shopping Tips". Retrieved 1 June 2015. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ a b "Gulf Air Adds New Routes to Pakistan from mid-Dec 2015". 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Gugunishvili, Nino (23 January 2017). "Gulf Air to Start Direct Flights to Tbilisi". Georgia Today on the Web. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "الطيران السوري يعيد تسيير الرحلات إلى دمشق في 2 مايو المقبل - الوسط موبايل". Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "2013 summer schedule". Aero Logic. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo Freighter Operations get ready for DWC move". Emirates SkyCargo. 2 April 2014. 
  20. ^ Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
  21. ^ Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
  22. ^ Airport Council International's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
  23. ^ Airport Council International Archived 2016-08-11 at the Wayback Machine.'s 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  24. ^ Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
  25. ^ Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
  26. ^ Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
  27. ^ Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
  28. ^ Bahrain airport statistics Archived 2016-02-16 at the Wayback Machine. 2015 Bahrain airport statistics

External links[edit]

Media related to Bahrain International Airport at Wikimedia Commons