After the third running of the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS, Stand 1183) this past January was hailed as a success by its organizers, preparations are already being made for the next event in 2016. Hopes are high that it can surpass commercial deals of around $2.1 billion–the 2014 figure that was more than double that of 2012.
Organizers the Ministry of Transportation and the Royal Bahraini Air Force, together with Farnborough International Ltd., said more than 100 international and domestic companies attended the show, as well as 29 military delegations from 18 countries and 106 civil aviation officials from 17 countries.
Some 89 aircraft participated in the static display and a total of 106 aircraft took part in the show. Roughly 30,000 visitors attended the trade show and there were more than 20,000 visitors to the public event.
Major deals signed at the show included the sale of 16 Bombardier CSeries CS300 jets to new airline Saudi Gulf, which is owned by the local Al Qahtani Group and is expected to be the country’s fourth domestic carrier, plus a new agreement regarding the construction of Khartoum International Airport, Sudan.
Day three of the airshow saw a visit from King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and his personal representative and head of the BIAS organizing committee, Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Khalifa.
Speaking about the deals at the end-of-show press conference, the Minister of Transportation and acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, said, “It’s been a successful three days here at the Bahrain International Airshow…we are delighted that regional and international companies are choosing Bahrain to make their announcements and conduct their business. We hope to build on this for future airshows, as the event plays a key role in supporting our attributes as a hub for business in the region.”
Dates for the Bahrain International Airshow 2016 have been confirmed as January 21 to 23. It will once again take place at the Sakhir Air Base, in a purpose-built venue adjacent to the Bahraini Royal Family’s private runway. The venue will offer five-star, invitation-only chalets.