The move by the Provincial Council was enacted to support the Bahraini Shiites, the majority of Bahrain’s population, protesting the Suuni leadership in Bahrain. This ban however backfired on the Provincial Council as it impacted the Bahraini Shiites that frequently travel to Najaf for business, and to visit the holy sites in both Najaf and Karbala.
Ultimately the Najaf Provincial Council determined that their banning of Gulf Air’s service between their airport and Bahrain, citing that Bahraini Shiites protested the ban, and that the ban negatively impacted those they were intending to support through the ban with virtually no impact on Bahrain’s leaders. The ban on Gulf Air’s service was repealed just days later.
Gulf Air originally launched service to Najaf the 26th of September 2009 then suspended the flights in March 2011, restoring service a short time later. Gulf Air intends to restart service again on the 1st of October.