Bahrain's new low cost airline will also fly to India

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Dubai, Nov 23 (UNI) Bahrain Air, the nation's first privately owned premium low-priced carrier (LPC) to be launched on January 17, will also cover destinations in the Indian subcontinent, the chairman said in Manama.

''Bahrain Air will initially operate to Dubai, Mashhad, Beirut, and Alexandria and will continue to expand until it fully covers the GCC, West Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent regions,'' Shaikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa said.

''The airline also aims to promote Bahrain International Airport as a major hub in the region and contribute in promoting tourism to Bahrain,'' he said.

Initially, the airline, with paid-up capital of BD8 million(Rs 800 million), will cover 13 destinations and 140 flights weekly across the region.

Backed by leading investors from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia with 68 per cent and 32 per cent shareholding respectively, Bahrain Air is upbeat to get the market share by offering an innovative product.

He said,''At this stage there are 10,000 low cost passengers using the available airlines in Bahrain per month.'' According to Bahrain Air's three-year plan, the airline will have 14 aircraft by the end of 2008 taking the total number of aircraft to 23 in 2009 and 25 by 2010. This will make it the most rapidly growing low cost carrier in terms of fleet expansion with 57 per cent and nine per cent growth respectively in 2009 and 2010, reports here said.

Bookings open on December 16, coinciding with the national day of Bahrain, and passengers can book their flights to Dubai, Beirut, Mashhad and Alexandria to begin with, he added.

Bahrain Air will use a fleet of all modern Airbus A320 aircraft and has ambitious plans to expand its operation within GCC, West Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent regions.

UNI

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