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Bahrain International Airport (IATA: BAH, ICAO: OBBI) (Arabic: مطار البحرين الدولي‎, maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī) is the international airport of Bahrain, located in Muharraq, an island about 7 km (4.3 mi) northeast of the capital Manama. It serves as the hub for the national carrier Gulf Air. The airport is currently undergoing a $1.1 billion expansion that will boost the airport's passenger capacity to 14 million per year by 2019.[2]

Bahrain International Airport

مطار البحرين الدولي

Maṭār al-Baḥrayn al-dwalī
Bahrain Airport Company Logo.png
Airport typePublic
OperatorBahrain Airport Company
LocationAl Muharraq
Hub for
Elevation AMSL6 ft / 2 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 12,979 3,956 Asphalt
12R/30L 8,300 2,530 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passenger change 15–16Increase2.0%
Aircraft movements101,345
Movements change 15–16Increase1.0%
Cargo (MT)217,056
Cargo change 15–16Increase4.0%
Source: Statistics from Bahrain Airport 2015,[1] ACI's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report.



Early yearsEdit

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.[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.

Through the yearsEdit

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. But 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.

Development in the 2000sEdit

A BD113m ($300 million) expansion and refurbishment program was launched in the third quarter of 2006 which will see the creation of a new multi-storey car park and retail complex adjacent to the main terminal building. The expansion also includes a full resurfacing of the main runway, a new perimeter fence, state-of-the-art security systems and additional aircraft parking bays. Runway 12R/30L is mostly used as a taxiway.

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. Work on the airport's expansion officially began in June 2011 and is expected to be completed by 2015. The expanded airport will increase the airport's size by an additional 40,000m², including more than 3,000m² of new retail facilities. It will also create 4 to 5 additional contact gates, 9 remote gates and 40 more check-in counters as well as an enlarged transfer facility amongst several other capacity improvements and value added facilities[7]

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[8]

Two new terminals will be opened in the next four years as part of the expansion. Terminal Two will be commissioned by 2012 and Terminal 1A will become operational a year later. The expansion will include all modern facilities, including leisure areas, shopping centers, hotels and anything else that a modern traveler needs, will be incorporated in the new development. The expansion will also include a swimming pool. The present terminal building (Terminal 1) will be demolished in 2014 and replaced with a new structure within a few years. Construction of Terminal 2 will begin early in 2010. There will be 110 aircraft stands including 87 with contact gates and 23 without. This also includes 17 new remote aircraft parking bays, installation of automatic baggage screening facilities, improved ground handling and overall new passenger handling standards.

The cargo handling capacity will also increase from the present 350,000 cubic meters to 1.5 million cubic meters. All ground handling facilities at the airport were being enhanced in collaboration with the company that manages Munich Airport in Germany. A new VIP terminal and an Airport Center that will includes shops, entertainment facilities and car parking will be developed as part of the project.[9][10][11]

There are plans to build light rail lines which would connect the airport to the rest of Bahrain.[12]

Airlines and destinationsEdit


Air Arabia Sharjah
Air India Delhi
Air India Express Kannur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mangalore
AtlasGlobal Seasonal: Antalya,[13] Istanbul,[14] Trabzon[15]
Azerbaijan Airlines Seasonal: Baku
British Airways Dammam (begins 1 December 2019),[16] London–Heathrow
Cathay Pacific Dubai–International, Hong Kong
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Dubai–International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa[17]
FlyBosnia Seasonal: Sarajevo[18]
flydubai Dubai–International
Georgian Airways Seasonal: Tbilisi
Gulf Air Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Alexandria–Borg El Arab,[19] Amman–Queen Alia, Athens, Baghdad, Baku,[19] Bengaluru,[20] Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca,[19] Chennai, Colombo,[21] Dammam, Dhaka,[22] Delhi, Dubai–International, Faisalabad,[23] Frankfurt, Gassim, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jeddah, Karachi, Khartoum, Kochi, Kozhikode,[19] Kuwait, Lahore, Larnaca, London–Heathrow, Manila, Malé (begins 26 October 2019),[24] Medina, Moscow–Domodedovo, Multan,[23] Mumbai, Muscat, Najaf, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Riyadh, Sharm El Sheikh,[19] Sialkot, Tbilisi,[25] Thiruvananthapuram
Seasonal: Malaga, Salalah
Iraqi Airways Baghdad, Najaf
Jazeera Airways Kuwait
KLM Amsterdam, Kuwait
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Oman Air Muscat
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal: Trabzon
SalamAir Muscat (begins 9 September 2019)[26]
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh
SriLankan Airlines Colombo
SunExpress Charter: Antalya,[27] Bursa, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Trabzon [27]
Syrian Air Damascus
Turkish Airlines Istanbul[28]
Seasonal: Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen, Trabzon


Cargolux Luxembourg, Mumbai
DHL International Abu Dhabi, Amman-Queen Alia, Amsterdam, Baghdad, Bagram, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Cairo, Cincinnati, Dubai–International, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kandahar, Karachi, Kiev–Boryspil, Kuwait, Lahore, Leipzig/Halle,[29] Liège, New York–JFK, Sharjah
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum,[30] Zaragoza
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt
MyCargo Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Swiftair Madrid
Turkish Airlines Cargo Istanbul–Atatürk, Phnom Penh


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%
Source: Airports Council International, World Airport Traffic Reports & Bahrain's Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications (MTT) Annual Reports.
(Years 2005,[31] 2006,[32] 2007,[33] 2009,[34] 2011,[35] 2012,[36] 2013,[37] 2014,[38] 2015,[39] 2016[40])
and 2017[41]

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 24
11 Mumbai   India 21
12 Amman   Jordan 20
13 Cairo   Egypt 19
14 Frankfurt   Germany 14

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Traffic Statistic DEC 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  2. ^ "Bahrain Airport Modernization Program | Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications". Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  3. ^ Bahrain International Airport :: About Us – History Archived 2008-08-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  4. ^ "USAFHRA document 00181427". 1986-11-13. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  5. ^ Overseas Stations-M Air of Authority.
  6. ^ "RAF Muharraq". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Traveller Portal – Bahrain International Airport : Home". Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Skytrax 2010 World Airport Awards – Middle East". Skytrax. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-04-01.
  9. ^ Local News " Airport Of The Future. Gulf Daily News (2009-10-08). Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  10. ^ Bahrain airport plans two new terminals | Aviation. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  11. ^ Local News " Jetting into the future. Gulf Daily News (2009-10-08). Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  12. ^ "Sekkah Product Review Pro & Shopping Tips". Retrieved 1 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "AtlasGlobal adds Trabzon – Bahrain service from late-Jan 2018". airlineroute. 22 January 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Live Flight Tracker - Real-Time Flight Tracker Map". Flightradar24. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Ethiopian splits Bahrain / Dammam flights from March 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b c d e "Gulf Air expands S18 network". Routesonline. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Gulf Air resumes service to Bangalore from May 2018". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  21. ^ By 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.
  22. ^ "Bahrain News Agency | Gulf Air to launch direct flights to Dhaka". 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  23. ^ a b "Gulf Air Adds New Routes to Pakistan from mid-Dec 2015". 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Gulf Air announces Maldives as it welcomes its 3rd airbus A320neo". Gulf Air. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  25. ^ Gugunishvili, Nino (23 January 2017). "Gulf Air to Start Direct Flights to Tbilisi". Georgia Today on the Web. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b Ltd. 2019, UBM (UK). "SunExpress adds Bahrain service from Nov 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  28. ^ "Istanbul New Airport Transition Delayed Until April 5, 2019 (At The Earliest)".
  29. ^ "2013 summer schedule". Aero Logic. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  30. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo Freighter Operations get ready for DWC move". Emirates SkyCargo. 2 April 2014.
  31. ^ Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
  32. ^ Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
  33. ^ Airport Council International's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
  34. ^ Airport Council International Archived 2016-08-11 at the Wayback Machine's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  35. ^ Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
  36. ^ Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
  37. ^ Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
  38. ^ Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
  39. ^ Bahrain airport statistics Archived 2016-02-16 at the Wayback Machine 2015 Bahrain airport statistics
  40. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.
  41. ^ "Bahrain Airport Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved Feb 20, 2019.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Bahrain International Airport at Wikimedia Commons