Will Gulf Air begin flights to Israel?
Social media accounts noted on November 5 that Gulf Air could begin operating flights to Israel in mid-November. There was lack of confirmation on the details and flights did not appear that they could be booked. It follows earlier reports. In October, Ynet reported that "following similar agreement with the UAE, Manama and Jerusalem agree to 14 weekly commercial and 5 cargo flights a week, including unlimited flights between Bahraini capital and Eilat's Ramon Airport." In September Live and Let's Fly postulated: "Might we soon Gulf Air service to Tel Aviv and EL AL service to Manama? I absolutely expect we will see this at some point. However, with Israel implementing a second nationwide shutdown only yesterday, the return to leisure and business travel between neighbors is unlikely to occur anytime soon." Globes noted in September that "The Bahrain airline is Gulf Air, a government owned carrier of a similar size to El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) and far smaller than its nearby rivals from the UAE Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) and Emirates (Dubai). Gulf Air flies to 50 destinations in 30 countries." The same report included comments by Israel travel company Issta Holdings CEO Ronen Carasso. He noted that there was "Huge potential has been opened up for Israeli customers. Bahrain is a special country in the Persian Gulf and the smallest country there with 30 islands covering just 700 square kilometers. The small kingdom has 30 kilometers of beaches, east of Saudi Arabia, and only 1.7 million citizens." Kan reported that Gulf Air had applied for four weekly flights on September 21. Days later Reuters reported that "Israeli carrier Israir operated a flight from Tel Aviv to Bahrain on Wednesday, flight-tracking website FlightRadar24 showed."