The first direct passenger flight from Qatar to Bahrain in six years touched down in Manana on Thursday.
Qatar Airways flight number QR1108 landed at Bahrain International Airport at just after 9pm on Thursday.
Two hours later, the return service marked the first direct flight from Bahrain to Qatar, to land at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
The flights mark the resumption of direct air travel between Doha and Bahrain after both countries’ state carriers agreed to resume flights.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and interfering in the affairs of regional states, which Doha denied. Bahrain is the last of the nations to resume relations with Qatar following the AlUla Agreement in January 2021.
Qatar Airways now flies daily from Doha to Bahrain. Flights depart Qatar at 8pm, with a scheduled landing in Bahrain around 50 minutes later. Return services leave Bahrain at 10.20pm, with an estimated arrival time of 11.15pm in Doha.
From June 15, the national airline of Qatar will increase its services between the two destinations to three flights per day.
Gulf Air, the national airline of Bahrain, has also restarted flights between the destinations.
It is flying daily again to Doha, a route it first began flying in 1950.
From June 15, Gulf Air will also increase flights between the Gulf nations to three per day with Doha-bound services departing from Manama at 9.30am, 4.20pm and 8.35pm.
The resumption of flights between the destinations came after an agreement was reached earlier this year between the civil aviation authorities in Qatar and Bahrain.
Since direct flights last operated between the countries in 2017, both have developed their tourist offerings.
In Bahrain, the country has a brand new passenger terminal at its international airport and several new luxury hotels, including the Address Beach Resort Bahrain, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay and Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort & Spa.
Qatar has undergone a huge transformation, most of which was in preparation for hosting Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022. Several new luxury hotels have opened in the country, including The St Regis Marsa Arabia Island, Waldorf Astoria Lusail and the Fairmont Doha in the city’s iconic Katara Towers.
During the World Cup, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE operated several shuttle flights to and from Qatar, with each of the destinations benefiting from an increase in tourist numbers due to the global sporting event. The late resumption of flights between Qatar and Bahrain meant that the tiny island nation missed out on a key regional event.
Flights to Doha from other destinations in the Gulf operate regularly. Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, operates three daily flights to Qatar. Emirates is not currently flying to Doha from Dubai, but sister airline flydubai operates three flights per day. Air Arabia also operates from Sharjah to Doha.
Qatar Airways flies to three destinations in the UAE, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The airline will resume flights to Ras Al Khaimah in November, for the first time since 2017.
From Saudi Arabia, travellers have many options for travel to Doha, with flights from Saudia, Flynas and Qatar Airways operating to Qatar from cities including Riyadh, Jeddah, Gassim and Taif.