Bahrain International Airshow 2014 has become one of the biggest airshows in Asia from 2010, the debut year.
One may evaluate the success of similar events by the monetary value of the deals concluded. Another way of evaluation is to quantify the number of trade visitors the event had attracted. Bahrain International Airshow 2014 was a success of the grandest level either way one chooses to look at it.
Over USD 3 billion worth of business deals were finalised during the air show held at the Sakhir airbase from 16th till 18th January 2014. In total BIAS received military and civil delegations from over 40 countries, representing most of the key global markets with over 30,000 trade visitors. Sunny weather took a break on the third day which saw a drizzle and a sky that was overcast for most of the day. However, the spirits of the visitors; both trade and public were not dampened by the pleasantly cool 14C.
While one attempts to talk about this years’ air show, the first would be the effortless way everything was organised, thanks to the highly professional and coherent team from Farnborough International Limited of the UK. From a visitor’s perspective, that would include right from the sign boards through the security and registration process and the numerous facilities such as the interior of the chalets and amenities offered to the participants and guests.
As was the practice during the last two years, US Navy did had an impressive display of their airbourne fighting machines to the immediate right of the main entrance to the trade show opposite the hangar. At the far right was the location for the Al Fursan Team from UAE, Saudi Hawks, Mark Jeffries and the Russian Knights with their fleet of bright blue and red Sukhoi SU27s. With a few exceptions, most of the displayed aircrafts showed off their skills and capabilities on the flying display which started everyday with the fly past of Gulf Air A330 while some continued to offer a static display welcoming visitors and guests on board. Most impressive commercial airliners included the Emirates A380, Qatar Airways’ Dreamliner 757 and Bahrain’s own Gulf Airs’ A300.
Turkey’s T129 ATAK multi-role helicopter, UAE Mirage 2000, UAE F16, Spitfire, RAF Typhoon and Rafale were some of the aircrafts that displayed solo. The Saudi Hawks, The Russian Knights, Breitling Wing Walkers, Red Devils and Saudi Falcons (Parachute Team), DHL (757 and Extra 200 & 300) and The Bahrain Air Force displayed and flew formations.
India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) delegation with their Embraer ERJ145 fitted with the ingeniously developed airborne radar displayed an impressive flying that displayed the skills and capabilities of the pilots and the aircraft.
New addition to this years’ show was the Airport, Security & Surveillance Pavilion accommodating over 50 stalls that included Martin Baker, the market leader well known for its ejection seats. Xerox was the official document services provider for the air show second time in a row. The show pavilion main entrance was flanked by an Eurofighter Typhoon and a timeless Spitfire.
As much as BIAS was a trade show, it the public visitors a festival of fun including a 4.5-hour flying display and a host of on-ground attractions and entertainment. Highlights included a Heritage Village, children’s rides and games, flight simulators, a new Space Zone and interactive education and fun for all ages.
Airshow organisers Bahrain Ministry of Transportation and the Royal Bahraini Air Force in partnership with Farnborough International Limited have confirmed that the show has experienced an almost 50% increase in participating companies compared to last show with over 100 aerospace businesses participating at the show representing 32 countries including the US, UAE, Turkey, Germany, France, the Russian Federation, Egypt, India and China.
The first day of the event concluded with a Gala Dinner for the visiting dignitaries and participating organisations executives at the Bahrain National Museum. The guests were invited for over 2 hours of pure entertainment by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the beautiful waterfront Bahrain National Theatre.
Bahrain’s Minister for Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board, His Excellency Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed said, “BIAS is a commercially-focused air show that seeks to give aerospace businesses a personalised experience, offering easy access to high-level delegations and immediate opportunities for customer demonstration flights all within a dedicated site, and the level of support and attendance reflects the unique approach and offering it presents.
“The event also builds on Bahrain’s position as a mature, business environment with open, transparent regulation allied to a low cost base and a highly skilled workforce, making Bahrain a strategically attractive place to access the $1.5 trillion Gulf market.”
At the Gala Dinner held at the Bahrain National Museum, HE Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board said: “We have seen the full range of new aircraft and related services, both commercial and defence, that define this industry here in Bahrain today. As the first day of the Airshow has so clearly demonstrated, there is a wealth of opportunities in aviation, and it is an industry that continues to grow, develop and evolve.”
Amanda Stainer, Commercial Director at Farnborough International also added: “Now in its third edition, the show has built a reputation as a commercially-focused event for Aerospace Industry and is a real boost to the Kingdom’s status as a centre for commerce. We are delighted that business during the first day has gone well.”
All said and done, it remains that the most impressive feature of the show concluded on the 18th January 2014 was the participation of trade visitors and the excellent way the entire show was being organised.
For more details and press enquiries about Bahrain International Air show, please contact:
Philippa Ewart, Head of Marketing & Communications, Farnborough International Limited, UK.
Highlights of the Bahrain International Airshow 2014 follows…
The closing day was a grand finale followed by gala dinner and a beautiful concert. His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa presided the function in the presence of other dignitaries. Some of the moments from the event…