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aerobd.news : Contracts of over one billion dollars’ worth are expected to be signed this week between the Kingdom of Bahrain and international companies participating at Farnborough International Airshow (FIA), as part of the program of a senior level trade delegation from Bahrain attending the show.

Gulf Air, the Kingdom’s national carrier, is expected to sign further deals related to their restructured aircraft orders which were announced earlier in January this year at the Bahrain International Airshow 2016 with Boeing and Airbus worth a total of USD 7.6 billion and comprise 45 aircraft in total with deliveries commencing from Q2 2018.

Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, heading the Bahrain delegation and accompanied by Gulf Air CEO Mr Maher Salman Al Musallam and Bahrain Airport Company CEO Mr Mohammed AlBinfalah, will also sign contracts with 12 companies including BAE Systems, Qatar Airways, Rolls-Royce, DHL, SERCO, Boeing, Kallman, Lockheed Martin Aircraft Corp and Texel Air who have confirmed their interest in participating in the Bahrain International Airshow 2018, (BIAS) being held in the Kingdom of Bahrain November 14-16 2018.

In addition a US$2.5m contract will be signed between the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications and Farnborough International, appointing the latter as event organizer for the next two editions of the Bahrain International Airshow. This will continue the ongoing partnership between the two entities, which started with the first Bahrain airshow in 2010.

Furthermore, with the show’s growing contribution to the regional aviation industry, the organisers have announced a new date change that will mean the Gulf region will now have annual airshows: Bahrain and Dubai. Like Farnborough and Paris which run in alternative years, it will provide an annual showcase for the Middle East commercial and military aerospace industry. The new dates for the show will be Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th November 2018.

Speaking from the BIAS Chalet at the Farnborough International Airshow, His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, said “The Middle East civil aerospace market is growing at an exponential rate evidenced by the number of airport infrastructure development projects in the region including Bahrain’s own Airport Modernization Programme. Our attendance at the Farnborough International Airshow this year has huge impetus for us, with a very important deal for Gulf Air being finalised, as well as significant progress happening on our new Passenger Terminal Building at the Bahrain International Airport. Piling works have been completed since we announced the awarding of the main contractor at BIAS 2016, and enabling works phase 1 has also been achieved, with phase 2 now underway. We are on track to build a supergate and fire station and to have the new passenger terminal building ready in 2019,” he said.

He further added, “We want to provide the aerospace industry with more opportunities to do business in the region and the date change will help accommodate this. The success and growth of the Bahrain International Airshow has shown there is a clear desire and demand for two major international airshows in the Middle East. Moving our show to November will allow the Bahrain International Airshow to offer increased opportunities to the benefit and strength of the aviation industry in the region.”

The Airport Modernisation Programme’s main contractor agreement was awarded at BIAS 2016 to Arabtec and its partner TAV Construction to complete the main modernization works at Bahrain International Airport. The joint venture between the Dubai-listed Arabtec and Turkey’s TAV Construction is due to build a passenger terminal at Bahrain International Airport, which is undergoing a $1.1 billion upgrade. The scope of the contract includes the construction of the terminal, a services building and aircraft bay.

At the close of the 2016 show earlier this year, organisers confirmed that it had experienced its most successful event to date. The total value of orders reached US$9bn; more than triple the 2014 figure –the bulk of which comprised orders for national carrier Gulf Air for Boeing and Airbus aircraft as well as a number of contracts to support Bahrain’s Airport Modernization programme. As well as the record deals of the show, the organisers confirm that participation was also at an all-time high with more than 135 participating companies. Visitor numbers were also up with attendance figures for both the public and trade days at over 30,000.

Speaking about the date change, Farnborough International Commercial Director, Amanda Stainer, said, “The date change was extremely well received by participants when we announced them at the close of BIAS16. The show has grown from strength to strength since the first show in 2010 and while still in its infancy compared to other international airshows around the world, the date change will give the event a real opportunity to expand.”

She further added, “We are already 30% reserved for the 2018 show and will be working closely with the Ministry of Telecommunications and Transportation to enhance the event.”

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Rajowan Syed

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