Bahrain International Airport (BIA) has a long-rooted history in the aviation industry that sets it apart from many other airports, and it still plays an important role in the fast-growing sector. Established in the early 1930s, it was the first international airport to operate in the Arabian Gulf and today handles 22 airlines flying to 38 destinations across the globe.
It has been a challenging time for the industry over the past few years and none more so than for BIA, which has seen its position marginalised as the major hubs across the Gulf have centralized traffic across the region. With political instability, the collapse of the country’s second largest carrier Bahrain Air and a major restructuring of national carrier Gulf Air, it has been a challenging period, but speaking to The HUB at World Routes in Las Vegas, Bahrain Airport Company’s chief executive officer, Mohamed Yousif Al- Binfalah said it now has a good platform to develop.
“We are heading steadily towards achieving our mission of elevating the airport’s infrastructure and maintaining its’ positioning as a regional aviation hub,” he said. “Since its’ inception in 1996, World Routes events have always been an ideal networking platform for the airports industry and will support our efforts to work jointly with our partners to promote Bahrain International Airport to the international aviation community and attracting airlines to make the Kingdom a regional hub”.
According to Al- Binfalah the main targets for route growth are emerging markets in Asia, including China, the Indian sub-continent, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. “We hope to add by next year at least three more destinations to the airport,” he added.
You can see our full video interview with Mohamed Yousif Al- Binfalah, below, in which he also highlights investments to enhance the airport infrastructure and plans for expansion of the passenger terminal. Looking in the longer-term, he also confirms the Government’s commitment to aviation in the country and that two locations have already been identified for the construction of a new international gateway in the future.