Bahrain International Airport
Bahrain International Airport
مطار البحرين الدولي
Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī
|Operator||Bahrain Airport Company|
|Elevation AMSL||8 ft / 2.4 m|
Source: Statistics from Bahrain Airport 2019,
Bahrain International Airport (IATA: BAH, ICAO: OBBI) (Arabic: مطار البحرين الدولي, maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī) is the international airport of Bahrain. Located on Muharraq Island, adjacent to the capital Manama, it serves as the hub for the national carrier Gulf Air. The airport is managed by the Bahrain Airport Company. Established in 1927, it is the Gulf's oldest international airport.
The airport has recently undergone a $1.1 billion expansion which launched on the 28th of January 2021, boosting the airport's capacity to 14 million passengers annually.
The origins of Bahrain's international airport dates to 1927 when a chartered flight to Bahrain landed. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. However, 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 which boosted the airport's maximum capacity to 10 million passengers a year.
21st century expansion
In 2008, the airport was placed under management of the newly-created Bahrain Airport Company, which falls under the umbrella of the Gulf Air Holding Company, which in turn is owned by Mumtalakat, Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund.
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.
In 2009, 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 In August 2017, an American F-18 fighter jet crash landed at the airport, with the pilot safely ejecting.
The airport's new $1.1 billion terminal opened on 28 January 2021, boosting the airport's capacity to 14 million passengers per year. With its advanced technology and convenience-oriented approach, the new Passenger Terminal aims to put BIA on the global aviation map alongside the world's leading smart airports. The terminal was designed to enhance efficiency and security while meeting passengers' growing expectations for a more seamless airport experience.
At 210,000 sqm, the Passenger Terminal increases Bahrain International Airport's (BIA) capacity to 14 million passengers and 130,000 air traffic movements per year with a handling capacity of 4,700 bags per peak hour.
The terminal features premium-class check-in halls, check-in desks, passport control booths, E-gates, security lanes, a 9,000 sqm duty-free retail space, premium-class lounges, food and beverage zones, 24 departure gates, and 7,000 new parking spaces goth at-grade and in multi-story facilities.
Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) provides fully integrated airport services at Bahrain International Airport (BIA) with the highest levels of safety and security. Supported by a 3,000-strong staff, BAS is an ISAGO accredited Ground Service Provider.
For more information, please visit BAS.
Overseeing the Kingdom's oil, gas, and petroleum assets, Bahrain Jet Fuel Company (BJFCO) is a joint-venture between Bahrain Airport Company and the Oil and Gas Holding Company (Nogaholding). BJFCO is currently constructing a fuel farm complex in northeastern area of the airport as part of a major restructuring of the Kingdom's aviation fueling industry.
The airport is situated in central Muharraq and has strategic transportation connections with the capital city Manama through the Airport Avenue roadway and Shaikh Isa Causeway.
Bahrain International Airport is served 24/7 by several taxi operators, offering trips at different price points. The clearly marked taxi queuing area is located within Car Park B.
Getting to and from Bahrain International Airport by bus is quick and convenient with Bahrain Public Transport Company (BPTC). BPTC provides air-conditioned Wi-Fi equipped busses. The buses depart from an air-conditioned bus stop just outside the main entrance/exit of the arrivals hall which has a live bus departure information screen display.
The routes serving Bahrain International Airport are:
A1 – Airport – Muharraq Bus Terminal – Manama Bus Terminal – American Mission Hospital – Salmaniya – Khamis – Isa Town Bus Terminal
A2 – Airport – Manama Bus Terminal – City Centre – Seef – Souq Waqif – Hamad Town – University of Bahrain (Fastest Route from Airport to Manama)*
10 – Airport – Arad – Hidd – Mina Salman – Kuwait Avenue – Manama Bus Terminal – Muharraq Bus Terminal – Airport (Clockwise)
11 – Airport – Muharraq Bus Terminal – Manama Bus Terminal – Kuwait Avenue – Mina Salman – Hidd – Arad – Airport (Anti-Clockwise)
To travel on the red buses, the best option is to purchase a GO Card from the driver which will cost 1BHD (500 Fils for the card itself when purchasing for the first time). Each trip costs 250 Fils, with a maximum daily charge/cap of 600 Fils. Alternatively, a cash single is 300 Fils.
For up-to-date routes and times, and to plan your journey, please visit Bahrain Bus.
Cargo & Logistics
Through BIA's 25,000 sqm Cargo Terminal, a wide range of world-class services are offered, including export cargo sales, transshipment, inter-airport trucking, and customs clearance. We also offer break-bulk, bonded warehousing, freezers, chillers, and cold storage. Moreover, the Cargo Terminal houses dedicated areas for dangerous goods, livestock, radioactive material, valuable and diplomatic cargo, and mail.
BIA is also the regional hub for global logistics giant, DHL. With 115 weekly flights, and 250 vehicles, DHL operates a widespread and far-reaching integrated air and land network. Other cargo and logistics companies operating out of the airport include FedEx, TNT Express, Aramex, and Global Logistical Services (GLS).
Airlines and destinations
|DHL Aviation||Abu Dhabi, Amman-Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bagram, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Cairo, Cincinnati, Dubai–International, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kandahar, Karachi, Kuwait, Kyiv–Boryspil, Lahore, Liège, New York–JFK, Sharjah|
|Emirates SkyCargo||Dubai–Al Maktoum|
|SpiceJet||Delhi (operated by SpiceXpress)|
|Passengers||Change from previous year||Aircraft operations||Change from previous year||Cargo
|Change from previous year|
|Source: Airports Council International, World Airport Traffic Reports & Bahrain's Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications (MTT) Annual Reports.|
(years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 2018, and 2019)
|Rank||City||Country||Number of flights|
|1||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||132|
|4||Abu Dhabi||United Arab Emirates||56|
|9||Sharjah||United Arab Emirates||24|
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Media related to Bahrain International Airport at Wikimedia Commons