Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who is currently on a three-day visit to Bahrain, on Monday commemorated the British Airways' (BA) 70th anniversary of flying to the Middle East.
Back in 1932, the forerunner of BA, then known as Imperial Airways, began operations into Bahrain using a Handley Page 42 biplane with a cruising speed of 100mph and a capacity of 24 passengers, Harvey Lines, BA's Area Manager, Northern Gulf, told the Duke and a number of top-level Bahraini officials at a ceremony held Monday in the Al A'ali Complex.
The journey from London, which lasted several days, included stops in Basra, Bahrain, Sharjah and Gwadar en rout to India. In one of the first flights to Bahrain, Lines recalled, the landing strip was merely six inches above sea level and the plane became stuck in the mud…
"A team of white Bahraini donkeys was used to drag the plane free but by this time, it was too late for take-off to Basra which didn't have landing lights," he said, according to Gulf News.
The stranded passengers were accommodated in the houses of Bahraini families overnight. Prince Andrew is visiting the Kingdom of Bahrain and other Gulf countries in the context of his new role as the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.
Since leaving the Royal Navy in 2001, the Duke of York has taken up his new role "to promote the UK as one of the world's top trading nations, and the preferred European location for foreign inward investment," said a statement issued by the British Embassy. (Albawaba.com)
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