BIAS 2022 soars high with triumphant return

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By Nayla Barakat

Manama, Nov. 10 (BNA): The Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS 2022) has paved the way for bringing back the travel and aviation sector back on track, as it was before the global pandemic.

The show has seen great success in the first two days of the event that has brought together experts in the industry to look into challenges, solutions and exchange, said a senior official at the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication.

“Having organized this show is a big success for Bahrain and it benefits everyone in the region too that we manage to bring the industry back. And we're building up on it for 2024,” Director of the Bahrain International Airshow Yousif Mohammed Mahmoud said.

“The journey of the sixth edition of the Bahrain International Airshow, marking 10 years since it started, was a hard one. Through the years we have faced different challenges, be it the financial crisis, all the way to Covid-19 pandemic.

 “We managed to have the first edition of the show with less experience and then we had some of the brilliant shows in 2014 and 2016. In 2019 we were hit with a global pandemic of the COVID-19 and so we had to postpone it to 2022.

“And then after the COVID the most affected sector was the aviation sector. So, once again we had another struggle to bring companies and airlines to the show. So, our journey is all actually challenging.”

Mahmoud said: “BIAS is not about how big the size of the show is, it's about quality and product.

“The total 33 participating countries in this airshow. We have flags hoisted of all the participating countries from which different companies and delegations are participants in the airshow.”

“We also have around 127 delegates, plus another 110 military delegates, so we have about 225 total delegates. When we first started, we had 23 companies participating, and now we have 186 companies.

“All I can say is that when we first started there was less knowledge about this event and now, I can say that we have matured, we have experience and we have built on that expertise of our former colleagues in this sector.

“The BIAS has greatly contributed to the Bahrainisation of this sector where most of the staff are Bahrainis. These figures indicate that growth is constant, and we are happy that we are successfully hosting this show.

“Our future plan is to keep the industry running and in the next Bahrain International Airshow 2024 we again are looking forward to having a high-quality show.

“Planning is good enough for us at this stage and our efficiency is for 2024. We should have better not say about size because my size is so limited in this area. So yes, we're happy with what we have, just maybe the quality and the industry change on technology to be involved more and different players do join us.

“Bahrainis are very ambitious, and we like to accept challenges and are excited to tackle them. So, today this airshow that has been set-up in the Kingdom of Bahrain and is back after a break of four-years has a lot of hard work behind it.

“The aviation and travel industry were hit hard with the pandemic and it’s so important to revive this industry. The gathering of top airline industry and aviation officials and companies is a way to have dialogue and discuss what they should do in the coming years ahead. This will also help them discuss the recovery plan which has been the result of the pandemic.”

He said that the overall situation around the world is that the number of passengers has increased but there are enough aircraft flying between destinations to carry.

“Also, in the travel industry much expertise has retired that has created a gap of experienced staff at airports. So, at the BIAS the experts gathered from the top aviation industry can also discuss such problems and how to tackle them,” he said.

“Besides bringing aircrafts and other related equipment, we gather people here to have seminars and conferences to overcome challenges that the industry may be facing. We are also organizing entertainment activities by having a display of aircrafts in the skies of Bahrain. Overall, the BIAS is refreshing the industry to go back to normality.

“At the BIAS we always have a purpose to be here, since we have been long in this sector and are trying to maintain the balance between the income and expenditures.

“If you go back to the aviation industry, it is contributing almost 8% of the GDP to the worldwide economy and over 200 million people are working in this sector worldwide.

“So, those 200 million people multiply by another four people which are the families. We’re talking almost 78% of the population of this planet are earning from the aviation industry. It’s a very dynamic sector, it is affected and any impact on the sector is affecting the people themselves, their families, and everyone.”