Minister for Transportation and Telecommunications and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Organizing Committee of the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS 2018), Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, declared Friday the show a success with the final orders total confirmed at over $5 billion, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
Held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and under the supervision of His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Personal Representative of HM the King and Chairman of the Supreme Organizing Committee, the fifth edition of the Bahrain International Airshow has witnessed unprecedented growth with more participation in the event than ever before.
Aircraft and engine orders came from Saudi Gulf Airlines for 10 Airbus A320neo with an option for a further 10 plus valued at $2.1 billion and 45 CFM Leap-1A engines valued at $1billion. CFM also announced it has been awarded a maintenance contract for Gulf Air’s 65 Leap-1A engines which power the national carrier’s Airbus A320neos to the tune of US$ 1billion.
On the military side, the Royal Bahrain Air Force confirmed an order for 12 Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters valued at $912 million.
Speaking about the show Doug Wolfe, Bell Global Military Business Development Director - Middle East and Africa said: “The Bahrain International Airshow is a key opportunity to engage with customers across the region. This year the show was a success for the RBAF and Bell with the announcement regarding the acquisition of 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters. We are looking forward to growing our footprint in Bahrain and attending the next edition of BIAS in 2020.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications also signed bilateral Air Service Agreements and contracts for major projects over the three days that would see more improvements to the Kingdom's aviation infrastructure as part of the Kingdom’s ambitious Airport Modernization Program.
Other notable signings included a contract for the provision of manpower for air navigation and the construction of a new Air Traffic Control Centre. On the final day of the show, the ministry announced it would be implementing Phase 2 of the ILS - CAT III upgrade project at the Bahrain International Airport.
In addition, Bahrain-based Texel Air debuted the world’s first Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi™ at the show. This unique first of a kind aircraft will be based in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
“The success witnessed over the past three days affirms Bahrain International Airshow’s position as the fastest growing airshow in the Middle East. The senior international government officials and top-level executives attending reflect the value of the show as a platform for business. It is also a great opportunity to showcase the show as one of the major global events on the aerospace events calendar,” said Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications.
Outside of the major deals and contract signings, participants confirmed that the level of networking and engagement opportunities was outstanding with organizers looking to expand on this at the 2020 show which will take place on November 19-21, 2020.
“Developing the show content through conferences and other knowledge-sharing initiatives adds real value to the participants and visitors to the show,” said Amanda Stainer, Commercial Director for Farnborough International which co-organizes the event with the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications.
“The Manama Airport Symposium, the Airport Conference, BIAS FINN Sessions, and Women in Aviation Forum all provided opportunities to engage, inspire and network,” she added.
Delegation visits were also a success with many participating in high-level meetings with exhibitors, chalet holders and senior member of the Bahraini Government and Royal family.