Reporter : Hayal Alemayehu
Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is scheduled to launch its maiden flight to Addis Ababa next Wednesday. Three years after it entered a code sharing pact with Ethiopian Airlines, Gulf Air will start flying to Addis beginning Wednesday, thereby maximizing the benefit of the code sharing agreement between the two parties. Pursuant to the code sharing agreement, the two carriers have been opening up routes and services to each other in their respective networks since July 1, 2007.
The coming of Gulf Air to Ethiopia will boost the benefits accruing from the code sharing agreement between the two airlines while at the same time making the competition for Ethiopian from Gulf carriers stronger, according to an expert in the aviation industry.
Gulf Air had been the major carrier in the Middle East region several years ago before Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Oman Air – all of which branched out from it – were established.
The airline used to belong to Dubai, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain before they established their own carriers.
Gulf Air will be flying to Addis five times a week, according to informed sources.
The company is scheduled to call a press conference here next Thursday to announce its newly launched operation plan, a day after its maiden flight to Addis.
Girma Wake, the former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, worked at Gulf Air for eight years before rejoining Ethiopian.