Gulf Air unable to resume flights to Iran
Bahrain's Gulf Air says it has been unable to resume flights to Iran because the Iranian civil aviation authority has been slow to approve flight schedules, reports Reuters.
The airline hopes to resume services to Iran by the beginning of next year.
Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: “Gulf Air may well have gotten the cash injection that it needs to restructure its business, but it's clear that its plans to restart services to Iran are being hit - primarily because the Iranian Government condemns the crackdown on protestors n Bahrain.
“Many rightly argue that this is because the Shia-dominated populace of Bahrain is being suppressed by the Sunni monarchy, hence why Iran (also a predominantly Shia Muslim nation) is showing solidarity towards the oppressed.”
Ahmad added: “The reality is deeper and wider rooted, in that the spate of uprisings and continued battles in various Arab countries have split people down sectarian lines - so Iran's reaction to stifle Gulf Air is by no means a surprise - not least because Iran and Syria accuse other Sunni nations such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain of sending militants into Syria to engage in the civil war there against the Syrian Government. Iran, already under a slew of sanctions and can ill afford a cessation of air transport between itself and Bahrain for economic and political reasons and it’s likely they will grant Gulf Air the routes it seeks, just as Iraq did. Sadly, it's just an interconnected affair that cripples passengers plans.”