Bahrain International Airport

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Bahrain International Airport

مطار البحرين الدولي

Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī
Bahrain International Airport logo.svg
Airport typePublic
OperatorBahrain Airport Company
LocationAl Muharraq
Hub for
Elevation AMSL8 ft / 2.4 m
Coordinates26°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 13,005 3,964 Asphalt
12R/30L 8,301 2,530 Asphalt
Statistics (2019)
Passenger change 18-19Increase 5%
Aircraft movements95,486
Movements change 18-19Decrease 1%
Cargo (MT)291,017
Cargo change 18-19Increase1%
Source: Statistics from Bahrain Airport 2019,[1]

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.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6][7] 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.

20th century[edit]

Bahrain International Airport in December 1975

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.[8]

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.[8]

21st century expansion[edit]

Bahrain International Airport's departure terminal, 2014

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.[9]

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[10] In August 2017, an American F-18 fighter jet crash landed at the airport, with the pilot safely ejecting.[11]

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.

Ground Handling[edit]

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.

Aircraft Fueling[edit]

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.

Ground transportation[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]


Air Arabia Sharjah
Air India Delhi
Air India Express Kannur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore
Azerbaijan Airlines Seasonal: Baku
British Airways London–Heathrow
Buta Airways Baku[12]
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa[13]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Fly Baghdad Najaf
flydubai Dubai–International
Georgian Airways Seasonal: Tbilisi
Gulf Air Abu Dhabi, Amman–Queen Alia, Athens, Baghdad,[14] Baku,[15] Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca,[15] Chennai, Colombo–Bandaranaike,[16] Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka,[17] Dubai–International, Faisalabad,[18] Frankfurt, Gassim, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jeddah, Karachi, Khartoum, Kochi, Kozhikode,[15] Kuwait, Lahore, Larnaca, London–Heathrow, Malé,[19] Manila, Medina, Moscow–Domodedovo, Multan,[18] Mumbai, Muscat, Najaf,[14] Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Riyadh, Sialkot, Singapore,[20] Tbilisi,[21] Tel Aviv,[22] Thiruvananthapuram
Seasonal: Malaga, Salalah
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf
Israir Tel Aviv[23]
Jazeera Airways Kuwait
KLM Amsterdam, Kuwait
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Lahore[24]
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Antalya,[25] Trabzon
SalamAir Muscat[26]
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike
SunExpress Charter: Antalya,[27] Bursa, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Trabzon[27]
Syrian Air Damascus
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Ural Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo


AeroLogic[28] Leipzig/Halle
Cargolux[29] Luxembourg
DHL Aviation[citation needed] 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[30] Dubai–Al Maktoum
Lufthansa Cargo[31] Frankfurt
SpiceJet[32] Delhi (operated by SpiceXpress)
Turkish Cargo[33] Istanbul–Atatürk


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% 245,146 Decrease6.57%
2014 8,102,502 Increase 9.91% 96,193 Increase 5.90% 276,390 Increase12.75%
2015 8,586,645 Increase 5.97% 100,625 Increase 4.61% 256,408 Decrease7.23%
2016 8,766,151 Increase 2.09% 101,345 Increase 0.72% 263,956 Increase2.94%
2017 8,477,331 Decrease 3% 95,966 Decrease 5% 289,331 Increase10%
2018 9,082,707 Increase 7% 96,030 Increase 0% 288,235 Increase0%
2019 9,578,797 Increase 5% 95,486 Decrease 1% 291,017 Increase1%
Source: Airports Council International, World Airport Traffic Reports & Bahrain's Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications (MTT) Annual Reports.
(years 2005,[34] 2006,[35] 2007,[36] 2009,[37] 2011,[38] 2012,[39] 2013,[40] 2014,[41] 2015,[42] 2016,[43] 2017[44] 2018,[45] and 2019[1])

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 132
2 Kuwait City  Kuwait 83
3 Riyadh  Saudi Arabia 56
4 Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates 56
5 Muscat  Oman 53
6 Jeddah  Saudi Arabia 40
7 Dammam  Saudi Arabia 30
8 Istanbul  Turkey 29
9 Sharjah  United Arab Emirates 24
10 London  United Kingdom 21
11 Mumbai  India 21
12 Amman  Jordan 20
13 Cairo  Egypt 19
14 Frankfurt  Germany 14

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2019 Airport Statistics" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  2. ^ "BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT | Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications". Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  3. ^ "A Pictorial Journey Through Bahrain Airport's History". Routesonline. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  4. ^ Bahrain International Airport :: About Us – History Archived 2008-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  5. ^ "USAFHRA document 00181427". 1986-11-13. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  6. ^ Overseas Stations-M Air of Authority.
  7. ^ "RAF Muharraq". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Bahrain Airport Company". Bahrain International Airport. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Bahrain Airport Company". Mumtalakat. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Skytrax 2010 World Airport Awards – Middle East". Skytrax. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-04-01.
  11. ^ "US fighter jet crash lands at Bahrain International Airport". Gulf News. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Buta Airways launches direct flights to Bahrain". 16 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Ethiopian splits Bahrain / Dammam flights from March 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ a b c "Gulf Air expands S18 network". Routesonline. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  16. ^ Staff writer (2016-12-16). "Bahrain's Gulf Air to resume Sri Lanka flights in January – Transport,GCC,Middle East,South Asia,Transport,Transport". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  17. ^ "Bahrain News Agency | Gulf Air to launch direct flights to Dhaka". 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  18. ^ a b "Gulf Air Adds New Routes to Pakistan from mid-Dec 2015". 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Gulf Air announces Maldives as it welcomes its 3rd airbus A320neo". Gulf Air. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Gulf Air Reveals Singapore As New Destination In Q2 2021". Gulf Air. 23 February 2021.
  21. ^ Gugunishvili, Nino (23 January 2017). "Gulf Air to Start Direct Flights to Tbilisi". Georgia Today on the Web. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  22. ^ "Official: Gulf Air starts Israel flights January 7".
  23. ^ "Official: Israir begins flights to Bahrain on January 31 (Hebrew)". Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  24. ^ Liu, Jim. "Pakistan International to resume Lahore – Bahrain from mid-Sep 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  25. ^ Liu, Jim. "Pegasus expands Antalya network in S20". Routesonline. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b Ltd. 2019, UBM (UK). "SunExpress adds Bahrain service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  28. ^ - Network retrieved 27 January 2021
  29. ^ - Network & Offices retrieved 27 January 2021
  30. ^ - View Schedule retrieved 27 January 2021
  31. ^ - Routes & Schedules retrieved 27 January 2021
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ - Flight Schedule retrieved 27 January 2021
  34. ^ Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
  35. ^ Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
  36. ^ Airport Council International's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
  37. ^ Airport Council International Archived 2016-08-11 at the Wayback Machine's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  38. ^ Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
  39. ^ Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
  40. ^ Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
  41. ^ Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
  42. ^ Bahrain airport statistics Archived 2016-02-16 at the Wayback Machine 2015 Bahrain airport statistics
  43. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  44. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  45. ^ "2018 Airport Statistics" (PDF). Civil Aviations Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bahrain International Airport at Wikimedia Commons