HE Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board today confirmed that over US$2billion worth of business agreements have been confirmed at the end of day two of the Bahrain International Airshow.His Excellency made the announcement following several meetings with visiting dignitaries and exhibitors to the airshow.His Excellency said that this significant success comes as a result of His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, HM the King’s Personal Representative and Head of the Supreme Organising Committee of the Bahrain International Airshow, whose personal supervision of and close involvement in all stages of the planning and execution of the show has been instrumental.Day two also saw a visit from UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa who took a tour of the range of displays at the airshow.The value of the deals as of the second day came on the back of the landmark purchase agreement announced on the first day of the show by the Dammam-based, Al Qahtani Group with Bombardier Aerospace. This deal, valued at approximately $1.21 billion, includes the purchase of 16 CS 300 aircraft with options for an additional 10 CS 300 jetliners. The aircraft will be operated by Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al Qahtani & Sons Group of Companies (Tariq Al-Qahtani &Bros) wholly owned and newly launched carrier for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Gulf Airlines.Significant announcements for the day included the signing of a commercial agreement between theSudan Airport Holding Company and China Harbour Engineering Company for the Phase 2 development of the Khartoum New International Airport and four deals connected to the modernisation programme and maintenance of the Bahrain International Airport, totalling US$58million. Once the programme is complete, the newly modernised and expanded airport will have increased capacity of 50 per cent to take a total of 13.5 million passengers per year.Welcoming the deals, which included the design and engineering, and project management of the airport modernisation plan, His Excellency said: "The first two days of the expanded, third Bahrain International Airshow have been a great success with several large deals already agreed. For Bahrain, the agreements made by Bahrain Airport Company are a significant move to expedite the airport modernisation programme, which will herald an airport that fully matches the demands of Bahrain’s economy."Central to the day’s proceedings were business meetings with the major companies at the airshow, including French companies, Safran and Thales, Italian giant Finmeccanica, and US manufacturer Boeing. These meetings were also attended by Mohammed Al Binfalah, CEO of the Bahrain Airport Company and Mr Husain Al Shuail, Ministry of Transportation Assistant Under-Secretary of Security and Safety. In addition, His Excellency held a lunch meeting with a UK delegation that included Sir Gerald Howarth MP and Airbus Group UK, President and UK Trade Ambassador, Robin Southwell. During these meetings key areas of co-operation and investment opportunities were identified and discussed.
Speaking about the day’s events, Shaun Ormrod, Chief Executive for Farnborough International Ltd said, ‘Yesterday saw over 13,000 people attending the trade event and today’s business attendance is equally as pleasing. BIAS is very much about participants and exhibitors taking the opportunity to meet with existing and potential customers in the Middle East and the last 48 hours have perfectly demonstrated this.’