The 2nd Bahrain International Airshow 2012 (BIAS 2012) concluded with a resounding success and attracted 60,000 visitors, 50% up from 40,000 from the previous show, according to the Organising Committee member.
The members of the Supreme Organising Committee addressing a Press conference on the third and the last day of the show told reporters that over $850 million deals were also signed, showing the confidence of participating companies.
“A high percentage of the participating companies have already expressed commitment to return to Bahrain for the next Airshow in 2014. In addition one of our Headline Sponsors, Batelco, has signed a MoU during the show to continue with its sponsorship of BIAS in 2014. We are delighted to have received reports that the organised delegations programmes have been a great success and that BIAS has once again facilitated many very constructive and valuable meetings. Bombardier’s announcement of its order of five CSeries aircraft by PrivatAir and the option on a further five aircraft in a deal worth potentially up to $650 million is welcome news and we have positive indications that many further deals will be announced in forthcoming days and weeks as a result of contacts made during BIAS 2012,” Captain Al Gaoud, Undersecretary for CAA and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Organising Committee for BIAS, told the Press conference.
Al Gaoud who was joined by other members Brig Mohammed Al Mosallam, Khalid Al Rayes and Amanda Stainer, said the 2014 event will be even bigger in terms of space, facilities and more exhibiting place.
“It is true BIAS 2012 was 100% sold out event and we already felt that there is a need of new parking space, to add more chalets to existing 40 for ensuring more space for the exhibitors,” Al Gaoud said, adding that the organising committee of BIAS 2014 will meet in two weeks time to discuss the plans, strategy and other modalities.
The Committee members announced that BIAS 2014 will be held on January 16th, 17th and 18th at Al Sakhir Base.
Talking about the direct and indirect benefits of the show he said airshow serves as a catalyst to the economic activity.
“The hotel occupancy, the airlines, transport, infrastructure utilisation and allied services all get benefit which in turn add to the gross domestic product of the country,” he added.
He said that BIAS 2012 come to a close with its reservations book for the next edition in 2014, the sign of confidence of from the leading companies.
Many of this year’s participating companies also took part in the inaugural event in 2010 and are now already looking forward to repeating the experience again in two years time, proof beyond doubt that this event has established itself as a unique and significant addition to the international Airshow calendar.
The three-day show hosted 37 companies including international and regional major players such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, Gulf Air, Lockheed Martin, SELEX Sistemi Integrati TAG Aviation, Red Wings and United Aircraft Corporation. 18 civil delegations were invited and 20 military delegations attended from 15 countries. Thirty five countries in total were represented and 700 international media were accredited to attend and report on the event.
Over 84 aircraft took part in the static and flying displays including an appearance by an Emirates A380 which flew in for the first day of the show, the first time an A380 has ever landed at Sakhir. Flying displays also included the Sukhoi Superjet; a rare appearance by SU-27 formation team, the Russian Knights; and the Al Fursan aerobatic team made their first appearance outside of the UAE, only their second ever display at an Airshow. Arguably the highlight of the flying display was the all-Bahraini formation flight of a Gulf Air A330 flanked by three Royal Bahraini Air Force F-5s and four F-16s in a never-before-seen breathtaking spectacle. Static aircraft displays included a Typhoon from Saudi Arabia, Rafale and a group from the US Navy.
Show organisers, Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) for the Kingdom of Bahrain, say the feedback they have received from participants and visitors alike about the show has been extremely positive.
UK event organisers Farnborough International Ltd (FIL) have been working with CAA to produce this show for a second time round and Exhibitions & Events Director, Amanda Stainer, is positive that BIAS will continue to improve itself in the future due to the support that it has from participating companies and the strength of its unique positioning within the Airshow calendar.
“BIAS has established itself as an event that delivers exclusive networking opportunities in an intimate, welcoming environment. The unique strength of this event is in the calibre of the attendees and the convivial atmosphere, which together create an environment highly conducive for forming and cementing quality relationships and cultivating potential for business,” Stainer said.