Bahrain International Airport

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]

Bahrain International Airport

مطار البحرين الدولي

Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī
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]

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 one of the Persian Gulf's first international airports.[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 centuryEdit

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 expansionEdit

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]

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.

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]

The airport's new $1.1 billion terminal opened on 28 January 2021, boosting the airport's capacity to 14 million passengers per year. The terminal was designed to enhance efficiency and security while meeting passengers' growing expectations for a more seamless airport experience.

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 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.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • 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.[11]
  • In 1973, BOAC Flight 775 took off from the airport bound for Lebanon. However, onboard were some terrorists who ensured the plane was diverted to Jordan instead.

Ground HandlingEdit

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 FuelingEdit

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 transportationEdit

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.

Cargo & LogisticsEdit

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 destinationsEdit


Air Arabia Cairo,[12] Sharjah
Air India Delhi
Air India Express Kannur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore
Azerbaijan Airlines Seasonal: Baku
British Airways London–Heathrow
Buta Airways Baku[13]
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa[14]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Fly Baghdad Najaf
FlyBosnia Seasonal: Sarajevo[15]
flydubai Dubai–International
Georgian Airways Seasonal: Tbilisi
Gulf Air Abu Dhabi, Amman–Queen Alia, Athens, Baghdad,[16] Baku,[17] Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca,[17] Chennai, Colombo–Bandaranaike,[18] Dammam, Delhi, Dhaka,[19] Dubai–International, Faisalabad,[20] Frankfurt, Gassim, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jeddah, Karachi, Khartoum, Kochi, Kozhikode,[17] Kuwait City, Lahore, Larnaca, London–Heathrow, Malé,[21] Manila, Medina, Moscow–Domodedovo, Multan,[20] Mumbai, Muscat, Najaf,[16] Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Riyadh, Sialkot, Singapore,[22] Tbilisi,[23] Tel Aviv,[24] Thiruvananthapuram
Seasonal: Alexandria,[25] Malaga, Mykonos,[26] Salalah, Santorini,[27] Sharm El Sheikh[28]
Seasonal Charter:Sarajevo[29]
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf
Israir Tel Aviv[30]
Jazeera Airways Kuwait
KLM Amsterdam, Kuwait
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Lahore[31]
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Antalya,[32] Trabzon
SalamAir Muscat[33]
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh
SriLankan Airlines Colombo–Bandaranaike
SunExpress Charter: Antalya,[34] Bursa, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Trabzon[34]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Ural Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi[35]


AeroLogic[36] Leipzig/Halle
Cargolux[37] 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[38] Dubai–Al Maktoum
Lufthansa Cargo[39] Frankfurt
SpiceJet[40] Delhi
Turkish Cargo[41] Istanbul–Atatürk


Traffic figuresEdit

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   8.50% 73,891   1.88% 334,832  10.91%
2006 6,696,025  19.97% 80,538   9.00% 357,277   6.70%
2007 7,320,039   9.32% 87,417   8.54% 385,278   7.84%
2008 8,758,068  19.65% 101,203  17.77% 369,822   4.01%
2009 9,053,631   3.37% 103,727   2.49% 342,734   7.32%
2010 8,898,197   1.72% 106,355   2.53% 329,937   3.73%
2011 7,793,527  12.41% 102,068   4.03% 292,147  11.45%
2012 8,479,266   8.80% 105,931   3.78% 262,386  10.19%
2013 7,371,651  13.06% 90,837   14.25% 245,146  6.57%
2014 8,102,502   9.91% 96,193   5.90% 276,390  12.75%
2015 8,586,645   5.97% 100,625   4.61% 256,408  7.23%
2016 8,766,151   2.09% 101,345   0.72% 263,956  2.94%
2017 8,477,331   3% 95,966   5% 289,331  10%
2018 9,082,707   7% 96,030   0% 288,235  0%
2019 9,578,797   5% 95,486   1% 291,017  1%
Source: Airports Council International, World Airport Traffic Reports & Bahrain's Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications (MTT) Annual Reports.
(years 2005,[42] 2006,[43] 2007,[44] 2009,[45] 2011,[46] 2012,[47] 2013,[48] 2014,[49] 2015,[50] 2016,[51]

2017[52] 2018,[53] and 2019[1])

Busiest routesEdit

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 alsoEdit


  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. ^
  13. ^ "Buta Airways launches direct flights to Bahrain". 16 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Ethiopian splits Bahrain / Dammam flights from March 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-05-09. Retrieved 2020-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^ a b c "Gulf Air expands S18 network". Routesonline. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Bahrain News Agency | Gulf Air to launch direct flights to Dhaka". 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  20. ^ a b "Gulf Air Adds New Routes to Pakistan from mid-Dec 2015". 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Gulf Air announces Maldives as it welcomes its 3rd airbus A320neo". Gulf Air. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Gulf Air Reveals Singapore As New Destination In Q2 2021". Gulf Air. 23 February 2021.
  23. ^ Gugunishvili, Nino (23 January 2017). "Gulf Air to Start Direct Flights to Tbilisi". Georgia Today on the Web. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Gulf Air announces the opening of the sale for flights between Tel Aviv and Bahrain". 19 April 2021.
  25. ^ "Gulf Air Returns To Alexandria And Sharm El Sheikh This Summer". 4 June 2021.
  26. ^ "Gulf Air Adds Santorini And Mykonos This Summer". Gulf Air. 6 May 2021.
  27. ^ "Gulf Air Adds Santorini And Mykonos This Summer". Gulf Air. 6 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Gulf Air Returns To Alexandria And Sharm El Sheikh This Summer". 4 June 2021.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Official: Israir begins flights to Bahrain on January 31 (Hebrew)". Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  31. ^ Liu, Jim. "Pakistan International to resume Lahore – Bahrain from mid-Sep 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  32. ^ Liu, Jim. "Pegasus expands Antalya network in S20". Routesonline. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b Ltd. 2019, UBM (UK). "SunExpress adds Bahrain service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  35. ^
  36. ^ - Network retrieved 27 January 2021
  37. ^ - Network & Offices retrieved 27 January 2021
  38. ^ - View Schedule retrieved 27 January 2021
  39. ^ - Routes & Schedules retrieved 27 January 2021
  40. ^ [1]
  41. ^ - Flight Schedule retrieved 27 January 2021
  42. ^ Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
  43. ^ Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
  44. ^ Airport Council International Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
  45. ^ Airport Council International Archived 2016-08-11 at the Wayback Machine's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  46. ^ Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
  47. ^ Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
  48. ^ Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
  49. ^ Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
  50. ^ Bahrain airport statistics Archived 2016-02-16 at the Wayback Machine 2015 Bahrain airport statistics
  51. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  52. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  53. ^ "2018 Airport Statistics" (PDF). Civil Aviations Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2020.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Bahrain International Airport at Wikimedia Commons