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BAHRAIN AIR LAUNCHED

MANAMA: Bahrain's second national carrier Bahrain Air will start operations on January 17, it was revealed yesterday.The low-cost airline, which also offers business class, will use a modern Airbus A320 fleet - with 12 seats in business and 150 in economy.It will initially fly on Bahrain, Dubai, Mashad, Beirut and Alexandria routes.

"Bahrain Air is proud to announce itself as a competitive, premium low price carrier, which will provide its customers with the highest levels of service and reliability," said airline chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa announcing the launch.

"The new airline aims to play a major role in linking Bahrain, the financial centre of the Middle East, with the business community in the region by providing economical and fast point-to-point air service," said Shaikh Mohammed, who is BDF's former chief-of-staff.

Managing director Ibrahim Al Hamer said the plan was to increase the number of destinations to 25 in the next three years.

"We will start our operations to four destinations, which will increase to 14 by April 2008, 23, including the Indian subcontinent, by 2009 and to 25 by 2010."

Mr Al Hamer, former Civil Aviation Affairs under-secretary, is also the former chief executive officer of Gulf Air.

The company has an authorised capital of BD10 million and a fully paid-up capital of BD8m.

Other board members are Bahraini businessmen Faisal Jawad and Ali Al Musallam, as well as Saudi businessman Khalid Al Sadoun.

soman@gdn.com.bh



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