Bahrain International Airport
Bahrain International Airport
مطار البحرين الدولي
Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī
|Owner/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 Persian 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 one of the Persian Gulf's first international airports.
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. Moreover, the Bahrain airport possessed a nonstop link to North America for a brief period in the 1990s. Gulf Air operated Airbus A340s on a route to New York's JFK Airport. Due to the constraints of the aircraft, pilots occasionally had to make a refuelling stop on the flight to America.
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.
On October 8, 2009, it was announced that BHD 1.8 billion expansion of Bahrain International Airport will start in 2010. The expansion, planned over the next 30 years, will triple the passenger capacity to 27 million a year.
The airport's new $1.1 billion terminal opened on 28 January 2021. At 210,000 square meters, 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 check-in halls, check-in desks, passport control booths, E-gates, security lanes, a 9,000 sqm duty-free retail space, 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 airport services at Bahrain International Airport (BIA). Supported by a 3,000-strong staff, BAS is an ISAGO accredited Ground Service Provider.
Overseeing the Kingdom's oil, gas, and petroleum assets, Bahrain Jet Fuel Company (BJFCO) is a joint-venture between Bahrain Airport Company and the 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 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. The taxi queuing area is located within Car Park B.
Bahrain Public Transport Company (BPTC) provides buses which depart from a bus stop just outside the main entrance/exit of the arrivals hall.
Cargo & Logistics
Through BIA's 25,000 sqm Cargo Terminal, a wide range of services are offered, including export cargo sales, transshipment, inter-airport trucking, and customs clearance.
BIA is also the regional hub for DHL. With 115 weekly flights, and 250 vehicles, DHL operates an 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
|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,
|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|
Accidents and incidents
- On 9 September 1973, British Overseas Airways Corporation Flight 7755, a Vickers VC10, flying from Bombay (now Mumbai) to London via Bahrain and Beirut was hijacked after departing Bahrain and forcibly landed at Dawson's Field in Jordan. The hijacking was done by a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine sympathizer who wanted to influence the British government to free Leila Khaled.
- In August 2000, a Gulf Air plane (Gulf Air Flight 072) from Cairo crashed when landing at the airport. All passengers and crew died.
- In August 2017, an American F-18 fighter jet crash landed at the airport, with the pilot safely ejecting.
- "2019 Airport Statistics" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT | Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications". mtt.gov.bh. Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- "A Pictorial Journey Through Bahrain Airport's History". Routesonline. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- Bahrain International Airport :: About Us – History Archived 2008-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. Bahrainairport.com. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
- "USAFHRA document 00181427". Airforcehistoryindex.org. 1986-11-13. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
- Overseas Stations-M Air of Authority.
- "RAF Muharraq". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Bahrain Airport Company". Bahrain International Airport. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Gulf bites back". Flight International. 6 April 1999. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- "1995/96: Gulf Air Routes". Routesonline. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
- "Bahrain Airport Company". Mumtalakat. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
- "«العربية مصر» تسيّر رحلات مباشرة بين القاهرة والمنامة".
- "TRV-BAH Air India Express Flights Schedule". Air India Express. Retrieved 11 March 2022.|
- "Buta Airways launches direct flights to Bahrain". AzerNews.az. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "Ethiopian splits Bahrain / Dammam flights from March 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
- "Gulf Air and Royal Jordanian suspend service to Iraq amid regional tensions".
- "Gulf Air expands S18 network". Routesonline. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
- Staff writer (2016-12-16). "Bahrain's Gulf Air to resume Sri Lanka flights in January – Transport,GCC,Middle East,South Asia,Transport,Transport". ArabianBusiness.com. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
- "Bahrain News Agency | Gulf Air to launch direct flights to Dhaka". Bna.bh. 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
- "Gulf Air Adds New Routes to Pakistan from mid-Dec 2015". Airlineroute.net. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
- "Gulf Air announces Maldives as it welcomes its 3rd airbus A320neo". Gulf Air. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
- "gulf air announces launch of flights to rome, milan, nice and manchester in june". Bahrain excellence. 23 February 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
- "Gulf Air Reveals Singapore As New Destination In Q2 2021". Gulf Air. 23 February 2021.
- Gugunishvili, Nino (23 January 2017). "Gulf Air to Start Direct Flights to Tbilisi". Georgia Today on the Web. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Gulf Air announces the opening of the sale for flights between Tel Aviv and Bahrain". www.ias.co.il/. 19 April 2021.
- "Gulf Air Returns To Alexandria And Sharm El Sheikh This Summer". gulfair.com. 4 June 2021.
- "Gulf Air Adds Santorini And Mykonos This Summer". Gulf Air. 6 May 2021.
- "Gulf Air to launch Bahrain-Sarajevo flights - Echo Seven âˆŁ E7". Echoseven.net. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
- "The start of our first direct flights on Gulf flights from Bahrain Airport to Albania". Alraya Travel & Tourism. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
- "Official: Israir begins flights to Bahrain on January 31 (Hebrew)". passportnews.co.il. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
- Liu, Jim. "Pakistan International to resume Lahore – Bahrain from mid-Sep 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
- "Salam Air outlines further network expansion in S19 | Routes". Routesonline.com. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
- Ltd. 2019, UBM (UK). "SunExpress adds Bahrain service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
- https://wizzair.com/#/[bare URL]
- aerologic.aero - Network retrieved 27 January 2021
- cargolux.com - Network & Offices retrieved 27 January 2021
- "Germany's DHL extends lease for Bahrain International Airport hub". Retrieved 4 November 2021.
- Jeffrey, Rebecca (5 April 2022). "DHL Express inaugurates new Middle East-Istanbul route". Air Cargo News. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
- skychain.emirates.com - View Schedule retrieved 27 January 2021
- lufthansa-cargo.com - Routes & Schedules retrieved 27 January 2021
- https://www.aircargonews.net/airlines/bellyhold-airline/spicejet-and-gulf-air-to-investigate-possible-collaboration-on-cargo-services/[bare URL]
- Singh, Sumit (2022-02-07). "Turkish Airlines Ends Cargo Operations At Istanbul Atatürk Airport". Simpleflying.com. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
- Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International Archived 2016-08-11 at the Wayback Machine's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
- Bahrain airport statistics Archived 2016-02-16 at the Wayback Machine 2015 Bahrain airport statistics
- "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
- "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
- "2018 Airport Statistics" (PDF). Civil Aviations Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers Super VC10-1151 G-ASGN Zerqa RAF Station (Dawson's Field)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- "US fighter jet crash lands at Bahrain International Airport". gulfnews.com. Gulf News. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
Media related to Bahrain International Airport at Wikimedia Commons