MANAMA: The inaugural flight of Gulf Air to Isfahan took off from Bahrain International Airport, marking the airline's 46th destination and the first in 2011. The flight was welcomed at Isfahan by Gulf Air chief executive officer Samer Majali, Bahrain Ambassador to Iran Rashid Al Dosseri, senior Civil Aviation and government officials.
This is Gulf Air's fourth city in the Islamic Republic after Tehran, Shiraz and Mashhad, said Mr Majali.
"We chose Isfahan for many reasons, it is one of the major niche markets that is yet to be adequately served," he said.
"Isfahan's fine carpets, quintessential culture, traditional Islamic architecture and holy sites make it a great tourist destination waiting to be explored.
"It is also home to factories and establishments that produce fine carpets, textiles, steel, a major oil refinery and an advanced aircraft manufacturing facility."
Isfahan governor Ali Redha Zakir Isfahan expressed his delight about the direct service.
"This is not only an indication of the business potential that Iran and Bahrain present, but also a demonstration of the strong and historic relationship between the two countries," he said.
Gulf Air will be operating the Embraer E70 aircraft with three weekly flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday departing at 8.10pm from Bahrain and 10.50 from Isfahan.