Manama: The new air link between Manama and Rome will strengthen bilateral ties, the Italian ambassador to Bahrain has said.

The route, announced by Gulf Air last week, will be the second between the Bahraini capital and a major city in the Italian peninsula after Bahrain's national airline started flights to Milan in March this year.

"The historic and commercial ties between Italy and Bahrain will be further enhanced," Ambassador Enrico Padula said. "The embassy will do everything at its disposal to support the new initiative," he said, quoted by Gulf Daily News.

On Wednesday, Gulf Air said that it would launch services to Rome, Entebbe, the hub of Uganda's commercial sector and Juba, the capital of newly independent country, South Sudan.

Services to Rome will begin on November 30 with four flights per week, Entebbe on December 5 with also four weekly flights and to Juba on February 7 with three flights per week. "The launch of services to these new destinations demonstrates once again Gulf Air's long-term strategy to connect Bahrain and the region with new and unexplored markets having sound business potential," Samer Majali, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer said.

"It is one more example of our pioneering tradition, establishing our leadership position to gain commercial advantage in new markets. The launch of our services to Entebbe and Juba firmly establishes our renewed focus in the emerging markets of the African continent, where we see a huge potential. It also opens up new business opportunities between Bahrain and these fast-developing countries."

Gulf Air will be operating its flights Rome using an A320 and the inaugural promo fares from Bahrain to Rome will start at BD 100 ($264). Flights to Entebbe will be with an A320 and the inaugural promo fares from Bahrain to Entebbe will start at BD 112 ($296). Juba will be served with an E90 aircraft in a two class configuration and inaugural fares from Bahrain will start at BD 168 ($444).