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The fourth edition of the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) 2016 opened its doors to its largest event to date today. With over 135 participating companies and an impressive delegation programme, the event’s reputation was unabated. By the close of business, the value of orders totalled a record USD7.6 billion surpassing BIAS2014 total on the first day alone.

Held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, BIAS 2016 was opened today by His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Personal Representative of His Majesty the King and Chairman of the Supreme Organising Committee of BIAS, in the presence of top government officials and senior aviation executives from MENA, Europe the US and Asia. This was followed by a royal luncheon which was hosted by His Majesty the King, after which he went on a site tour to visit the participating companies.

Significant deals of the day included the announcement of national carrier Gulf Air’s restructured Boeing and Airbus fleet orders, worth around USD 7.6 billion. Furthermore, the day before the show opened Comlux America signed a co-operation agreement with Texel Air to provide MRO and cabin upgrades for its VIP aircraft.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Organising Committee of BIAS, said, “Today we have welcomed dignitaries and top executives from the aviation industry across the aerospace supply chain and over the next three days, the show will host a number of meetings as well other networking events and opportunities. We have brought together over 75 delegations from 34 countries and managed a programme of meetings for them with our participants and exhibitors. As the first show of the year in the aviation events calendar, the Gulf Air announcement is an encouraging sign for the civil aerospace industry.”

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Central to the day’s events was the impressive 4 hour flying programme comprising displays from the official aerobatic teams of the Saudi and UAE Air Forces as well as the Russian and Indian teams, further aircraft displays from the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and US Airforce. This was supported by a markable line-up of both commercial and military jets on static display. The day concluded with a Gala Dinner hosted by the Bahrain Airport Company for the visiting delegates held at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay.

Amanda Stainer, Commercial Director at Farnborough International also said: “Day one of the show has got off to a resounding success. There has been a real buzz in the air with the networking and meetings that have been taking place and we look forward to more tomorrow, particularly with the Air Transport in the 21st Century conference which I am sure will see some lively debate and discussion from an impressive lineup of panel speakers.”

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