Bahrain International Airport

Coordinates: 26°16′15″N 050°38′01″E / 26.27083°N 50.63361°E / 26.27083; 50.63361
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Bahrain International Airport

مطار البحرين الدولي

Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī
Airport typePublic
Owner/OperatorBahrain Airport Company
LocationAl Muharraq
Opened1927; 97 years ago (1927)
Hub for
Elevation AMSL8 ft / 2.4 m
Coordinates26°16′15″N 050°38′01″E / 26.27083°N 50.63361°E / 26.27083; 50.63361
BAH/OBBI is located in Bahrain
Location in Al Muharraq, Bahrain
BAH/OBBI is located in Asia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12L/30R 3,964 13,005 Asphalt
12R/30L 2,530 8,301 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, romanized: Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī) is the international airport of Bahrain. Located on Muharraq Island, adjacent to the capital Manama and the city Al Muharraq, 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 origins of Bahrain's international airport dates to 1927 when a chartered flight to Bahrain landed.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5][6] 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.[citation needed]

20th century[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. 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.[7] Pan Am introduced direct flights to New York in December 1976. It operated the route with Boeing 747SPs.[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.[7] In July 1994, Gulf Air started nonstop service to New York on Airbus A340s. Due to the length of the route, westbound flights occasionally had to make a refuelling stop.[9][10]

21st century expansion[edit]

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.[11] On 8 October 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.[citation needed]

In April 2010, United Airlines began service to Washington, D.C., via Kuwait. The carrier flew the route with a Boeing 777.[12] United left Bahrain in January 2016.[13]



The airport's new terminal building, in April 2024.

The airport's new $1.1 billion terminal opened on 28 January 2021.[14] 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.[15] The new terminal cost 1.1 billion USD. 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 both at-grade and in multi-story facilities.


Through the airport's 25,000 sqm Cargo Terminal, a wide range of services are offered, including export cargo sales, transshipment, inter-airport trucking, and customs clearance. Bahrain is also the regional hub for DHL Aviation. 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).[citation needed]

Ground Handling[edit]

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 the northeastern area of the airport as part of a major restructuring of the Kingdom's aviation fueling industry.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Sharjah
Air India Delhi
Air India Express Delhi,[16] Kannur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram [17]
AJet Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Azerbaijan Airlines Baku
British Airways London–Heathrow
Egyptair Cairo
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa [18]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
flydubai Dubai–International
Flynas Riyadh
Gulf Air Abu Dhabi, Amman–Queen Alia, Athens, Baku,[19] Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Bodrum,[20] Cairo, Casablanca,[19] Chennai, Colombo–Bandaranaike,[21] Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka, Doha,[22] Dubai–International, Faisalabad,[23] Frankfurt, Gassim, Goa–Dabolim,[24] Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jeddah, Karachi, Kochi, Kozhikode,[19] Kuwait City, Lahore, Larnaca, London–Heathrow, Malé,[25] Manchester,[26] Manila, Medina, Milan–Malpensa,[27] Moscow–Domodedovo, Multan,[23] Mumbai, Munich (begins 1 July 2024),[28] Muscat, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Riyadh, Rome–Fiumicino,[27] Sialkot, Singapore,[29] Tbilisi,[30] Tel Aviv (suspended),[31] Thiruvananthapuram
Seasonal: Alexandria,[32] Al Ula,[33] Geneva (resumes 4 June 2024),[34] Malaga, Mykonos,[35] Nice,[27] Rhodes (begins 1 June 2024),[36] Salalah, Santorini,[35] Sharm El Sheikh[32]
Seasonal charter: Sarajevo,[37] Sochi (begins 3 June 2024),[38] Tirana,[39] Trabzon
IndiGo Kochi,[40] Mumbai[41]
Jazeera Airways Kuwait City
Kuwait Airways Kuwait City
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Riyadh
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Lahore [42]
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Trabzon
Qatar Airways Doha [22]
Red Wings Airlines Sochi (begins 3 May 2024) [43]
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia [44]
SalamAir Muscat, Salalah [45]
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh
Smartwings Seasonal Charter: Bratislava [46]
Southwind Airlines Seasonal Charter: Antalya, Trabzon [47]
SunExpress Charter: Antalya, Bursa, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Trabzon [48]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul, Trabzon


AeroLogic[49] Frankfurt, Leipzig/Halle, Singapore
Cargolux[50] Luxembourg
DHL Aviation[51][better source needed] Abu Dhabi, Amman–Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Cairo, Cincinnati, Dubai–International, Hong Kong, Istanbul,[52] Jeddah, Kandahar, Karachi, Kuwait City, Lahore, Liège, New York–JFK, Sharjah
Emirates SkyCargo[53] Dubai–Al Maktoum
Lufthansa Cargo[54] Frankfurt
Qatar Airways Cargo[55] Doha
SpiceXpress[56] Delhi
Turkish Cargo[57] Istanbul


Traffic figures[edit]

Annual passenger traffic at BAH airport. See Wikidata query.
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,[58] 2006,[59] 2007,[60] 2009,[61] 2011,[62] 2012,[63] 2013,[64] 2014,[65] 2015,[66] 2016,[67]

2017[68] 2018,[69] 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 104
2 Doha  Qatar 57
3 Riyadh  Saudi Arabia 54
4 Kuwait City  Kuwait 52
5 Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates 47
6 Istanbul  Turkey 35
7 Jeddah  Saudi Arabia 30
8 Dammam  Saudi Arabia 28
9 Muscat  Oman 26
10 Cairo  Egypt 23
11 London, Mumbai, Sharjah  United Kingdom,  India,  United Arab Emirates 21
12 Amman, Delhi  Jordan,  India 20
13 Kochi  India 17
14 Kozhikode  India 14
15 Chennai  India 10

Ground transportation[edit]

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. Bahrain Public Transport Company (BPTC) provides buses.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 12 June 1950, An Air France Douglas DC-4 crashed 5.5km (3.4mls) into the sea SE of Bahrain because the pilot did not keep an accurate check of his altitude and rate of descent during the approach, allowing the aircraft to impact the sea. Pilot fatigue also may have played a factor. Forty-six out of the 52 passengers and crew were killed.[70]
  • On 14 June 1950, just two days later, an Air France Douglas DC-4 flying the same leg crashed again into the sea at night SE of Bahrain because of similar errors on approach two days prior. Also BAH lacked radio landing aids and suitable runway approach lights. Forty out the 53 passengers and crew died.[71]
  • On 9 September 1970, 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.[72]
  • In August 2000, a Gulf Air Airbus 320 (Gulf Air Flight 072) from Cairo crashed when landing at the airport. All 135 passengers and 8 crew died.
  • In August 2017, an American F-18 fighter jet crash landed at the airport, with the pilot safely ejecting.[73]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2019 Airport Statistics" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  2. ^ "A Pictorial Journey Through Bahrain Airport's History". Routesonline. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  3. ^ Bahrain International Airport :: About Us – History Archived 2008-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  4. ^ "USAFHRA document 00181427". 13 November 1986. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  5. ^ Overseas Stations-M Air of Authority.
  6. ^ "RAF Muharraq". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Bahrain Airport Company". Bahrain International Airport. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Pan Am inaugurates non-stop service to Bahrain". The Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, Ill. 13 November 1976. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  9. ^ "Gulf bites back". Flight International. 6 April 1999. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  10. ^ "New U.S. Routes For 2 Airlines". The New York Times. 21 August 1994. ProQuest 429843878.
  11. ^ "Bahrain Airport Company". Mumtalakat. Archived from the original on 27 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. ^ "United Airlines to start Bahrain-Washington flights". TradeArabia. 10 November 2009. ProQuest 435309954.
  13. ^ "United Airlines terminates direct services to Kuwait, Bahrain". Mena Report. 27 October 2015. ProQuest 1727632568.
  14. ^ "Bahrain Airport's new $1.1bn terminal officially launches". July 2022.
  15. ^ "Market Facts". Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  16. ^ "Air India Express 2Q24 Middle East Network Additions". AeroRoutes. 15 April 2024. Retrieved 15 April 2024.
  17. ^ "TRV-BAH Air India Express Flights Schedule". Air India Express. Retrieved 11 March 2022.|
  18. ^ "Ethiopian splits Bahrain / Dammam flights from March 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  19. ^ a b c "Gulf Air expands S18 network". Routesonline. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Gulf Air to commence Bahrain-Bodrum service". Arab Air Carriers' Organisation. 12 May 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  21. ^ Staff writer (16 December 2016). "Bahrain's Gulf Air to resume Sri Lanka flights in January – Transport,GCC,Middle East,South Asia,Transport,Transport". Arabian Business. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  22. ^ a b Salari, Fatemeh (16 May 2023). "Qatar and Bahrain to resume direct flights on 25 May after six year suspension". Doha News. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  23. ^ a b "Gulf Air Adds New Routes to Pakistan from mid-Dec 2015". 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  24. ^ "From Dabolim, Gulf Air to fly to Bahrain in March". The Times of India. 19 January 2023. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
  25. ^ "Gulf Air announces Maldives as it welcomes its 3rd airbus A320neo". Gulf Air. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Gulf Air Expands Manchester Service from July 2024".
  27. ^ a b c "gulf air announces launch of flights to rome, milan, nice and manchester in june". Bahrain excellence. 23 February 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Gulf Air Adds Munich From July JULY 2024". Retrieved 5 April 2024.
  29. ^ "Gulf Air Reveals Singapore As New Destination In Q2 2021". Gulf Air. 23 February 2021. Archived from the original on 3 November 2021. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  30. ^ Gugunishvili, Nino (23 January 2017). "Gulf Air to Start Direct Flights to Tbilisi". Georgia Today on the Web. Archived from the original on 10 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  31. ^ "Gulf Air announces the opening of the sale for flights between Tel Aviv and Bahrain". 19 April 2021. Archived from the original on 23 January 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Gulf Air Returns To Alexandria And Sharm El Sheikh This Summer". 4 June 2021. Archived from the original on 8 April 2023. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  33. ^ "Gulf Air Adds Seasonal Al Ula Service From Feb 2024". Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  34. ^ "Gulf Air Resumes Geneva; Milan Frequency Expansion in NS24". Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  35. ^ a b "Gulf Air Adds Santorini And Mykonos This Summer". Gulf Air. 6 May 2021. Archived from the original on 8 April 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  36. ^ "Gulf Air adds Rhodes Service". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  37. ^ "Gulf Air to launch Bahrain-Sarajevo flights - Echo Seven âˆŁ E7". Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  38. ^ "Авиакомпания из Бахрейна Gulf Air запускает полёты в Сочи". Кубань-Информ (in Russian). 26 March 2024. Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  39. ^ "The start of our first direct flights on Gulf flights from Bahrain Airport to Albania". Alraya Travel & Tourism. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  40. ^ "Flight Schedule". 4 March 2023.
  41. ^ "Indigo Adds Mumbai – Bahrain Route From August 2022". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  42. ^ Liu, Jim. "Pakistan International to resume Lahore – Bahrain from mid-Sep 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  43. ^ "Red Wings Adds Bahrain Service From May 2024". AeroRoutes. 2 April 2024. Retrieved 2 April 2024.
  44. ^ "Royal Jordanian Resumes Bahrain Service From June 2023". AeroRoutes. 17 April 2022.
  45. ^ "Salam Air outlines further network expansion in S19 | Routes". Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  46. ^ "Smartwings Adds Bratislava – Bahrain Charters from Oct 2023".
  47. ^ "Southwind Airlines Adds Bahrain Service From late-June 2023". AeroRoutes. No. 19 June 2023. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  48. ^ Ltd. 2019, UBM (UK). "SunExpress adds Bahrain service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 20 February 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  49. ^ - Network retrieved 27 January 2021
  50. ^ - Network & Offices retrieved 27 January 2021
  51. ^ "Germany's DHL extends lease for Bahrain International Airport hub". Construction Week Online. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  52. ^ Jeffrey, Rebecca (5 April 2022). "DHL Express inaugurates new Middle East-Istanbul route". Air Cargo News. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  53. ^ - View Schedule retrieved 27 January 2021
  54. ^ - Routes & Schedules retrieved 27 January 2021
  55. ^ "Qatar Airways Cargo restarts freighter service to Bahrain following 2017 dispute". AeroTime Hub. 6 September 2023.
  56. ^ "SpiceJet and Gulf Air to investigate possible collaboration on cargo services". 25 November 2019.
  57. ^ Singh, Sumit (7 February 2022). "Turkish Airlines Ends Cargo Operations At Istanbul Atatürk Airport". Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  58. ^ Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
  59. ^ Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
  60. ^ Airport Council International Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
  61. ^ Airport Council International Archived 2016-08-11 at the Wayback Machine's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  62. ^ Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
  63. ^ Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
  64. ^ Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
  65. ^ Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
  66. ^ Bahrain airport statistics Archived 2016-02-16 at the Wayback Machine 2015 Bahrain airport statistics
  67. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  68. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  69. ^ "2018 Airport Statistics" (PDF). Civil Aviations Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  70. ^ Accident description for F-BBDE at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on October 30, 2023.
  71. ^ Accident description for F-BBDM at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on October 30, 2023.
  72. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Vickers Super VC10-1151 G-ASGN Zerqa RAF Station (Dawson's Field)". Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  73. ^ "US fighter jet crash lands at Bahrain International Airport". Gulf News. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bahrain International Airport at Wikimedia Commons