Gulf Air (GF, Bahrain Int'l) has begun targetting more foreign point-to-point flights in a departure from its hub-and-spoke strategy and part of a wider plan to expand globally.

Last week, the Bahraini carrier started fifth freedom flights between Athens Int'l, Greece and Larnaca, Cyprus, as well as between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Thailand, and Singapore Changi, it announced in a statement.

“This is an exciting development,” commented Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Waleed Al Alawi, adding the new routes formed part of a wider plan to expand its global network beyond Bahrain. “Now, not only do we operate from and to our hub (at Bahrain Int'l), but we will also operate from and to foreign points.” He added: “We studied the demand between Athens and Larnaca, as well as between Bangkok and Singapore to carry passengers between each city pair. This is the beginning of a wider plan to expand globally and be available and more visible to the local markets in countries that we fly to."

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Gulf Air on June 21 started flying 2x weekly flights routed Bahrain-Larnaca-Athens and return using an A320-200N. The carrier has carriage rights between Cyprus and Greece and vice versa. Earlier, Gulf Air introduced a weekly B787-9-operated flight routed Bahrain-Singapore-Bangkok and return again with fifth freedom rights on the inbound and outbound non-Gulf sectors.

The airline's fleet comprises seven B787-9s normally deployed on routes to Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom. It has six A320-200Ns of which five are active on routes to Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and India. Its fleet also includes eleven A320-200s, six A321-200s, and three A321-200NXs, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module reveals.

Last month, Gulf Air announced that all its flights would be operated by 100% vaccinated crew including pilots and flight attendants. It also automatically provides complimentary COVID-19 travel insurance on all flights until November 10.