Gulf Air Group Holding increased its ownership in Bahrain Airport Services, the ground handling services provider at Bahrain International Airport, to 44 per cent, strengthening the Mumtalakat-owned holding company’s control over a key strategic aviation asset.
The stake increase by Gulf Air Group Holding (profile) through a cash injection will also allow Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) (profile) to become a major regional and possibly international player, offering its ground handling services to airports in other countries.
His Excellency the Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Chairman of Gulf Air Group Holding Eng. Kamal Ahmed Mohammed and BAS Board of Directors Chairman Mohammed Jalal signed the agreement during the second day of the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) 2018. In attendance were officials from BAS and Bahrain Airport Company (BAC).
The increase is in line with a heads of terms agreement, signed by BAC chief executive officer Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah and BAS Chief Executive Officer Salman Al-Mahmeed, which will see BAS remain Bahrain International Airport’s (BIA) ground handling agent for passengers, luggage, aircraft, and catering services until at least 2034.
The agreement is aimed at developing the overall level of service at BIA and ensuring all ground handling operations adhere to international standards.
H.E. the Minister said: “In line with the objectives of Vision 2030 and efforts to strengthen the aviation sector as a key driver of the Bahrain economy, this purchase allows BAS to play an even more significant role in BIA’s transformation into a world class boutique airport. Consolidating control over Bahrain’s key aviation assets under the umbrella of the Group will improve our ability to implement national strategic plans. For passengers and cargo, it will mean an improvement in the levels of service throughout the airport and a streamlining of procedures.”
“This agreement, in step with the other development projects taking place as part of the USD 1.1 billion Airport Modernization Program, also marks the launch of the Group’s strategy to leverage BAS’s ground handling expertise to expand its business regionally and internationally.”