Traffic at Bahrain International Airport rebounded in the first quarter, after a year-earlier slump as regional unrest spread to the island nation.
Total passengers rose 12 percent in the period to 2.06 million, the country’s civil aviation authority said on its website. Cargo increased 5 percent to 91,799 tons.
Passenger traffic fell 12 percent in 2011 and cargo volume by 13 percent, the authority said. It cited “reduced business activity due to the effects of the Arab Spring throughout the region and a reduction in routes served.” Gulf Air, Bahrain’s state-owned carrier, carried 8 percent fewer passengers while private Bahrain Air had a drop of 21 percent.
Demonstrations broke out in February last year in Bahrain, led by the country’s Shiite Muslim majority demanding democracy and equal rights, as part of the wave of Arab revolts. A crackdown by security forces left at least 35 people dead in the first two months, and the opposition says more than 40 others died since. Small-scale rallies still take place daily in Shiite villages and sometimes spill into the capital, Manama.
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