Following the shocking announcement that the recently-inaugurated route to Entebbe will be suspended on February 21, came further information to light from Juba, when it was confirmed that Gulf Air will delay the commencement of flights between Bahrain and the Southern Sudanese capital city until further notice.
The airline is presently evaluating a number of marginal destinations with the aim to cut cost and shift resources to core markets and markets with a promising forecast and outlook, opting to consolidate first and then expand again when the global economic situation has sufficiently stabilized and improved.
“We are a lot disappointed about Gulf Air not coming anytime soon to Juba,” said a regular source with close links to aviation in Southern Sudan before adding, “This airline would have given us here more opportunities to fly and not needing to go via Nairobi or Entebbe. Right now, it is Ethiopian as the only other big airline company to come here other than Kenya Airways. But we really hoped that Gulf would come and connect us to the world.
“Egypt Air tried but failed us by first coming through Khartoum, which has been treating our people very badly when there were delays, and then Egypt Air pulled out also. We really hope that some other big airlines will consider coming to Juba direct so that we can finally fly from here to many places without connecting somewhere else first.”
This sentiment was echoed by several regular readers of this correspondent’s articles in eTurboNews and on his blog, after it was reported late last year that Juba would have 3 weekly frequencies by Gulf Air due to commence in the first quarter of 2012. Gulf Air, however, has reiterated that their daily flights to and from Nairobi will be maintained, offering the choices of connection to travelers from the East African region.