Bahrain International Airport facilities are to see a major face-lift within the next few months, Transportation Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said.
Expansions include the construction of a new runway and a control tower, new lounges and eight new air gates, he said.
Shaikh Ali said international air cargo companies had also reiterated their commitment to have Bahrain as one of their destinations due to the improved and high-quality facilities offered by Civil Aviation Affairs.
“Bahrain has seen a 32 per cent increase last year in air cargo and this is because of facilities given to international companies which have helped ease their jobs and working space,” he said.
Shaikh Ali was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Gulf Air First and Business Class Lounge at Bahrain International Airport.
Bahrain, he said, is also trying its best to make the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in April a successful event through giving air carriers more freedom and flexibility to work.
“The airport is ready to accommodate the arrival of the thousands expected to attend the event and people should be assured that the airport and those working at the airport are here to serve and welcome them,” he said.
Shaikh Ali said a record 4.3 million visitors used the airport last year. He hoped this figure would further increase with events like the Formula One later this year.
“Bahrain has and will still be the heart of the Gulf, with a distinguished location which has helped attract people from all around the world,” he said.
“The airport is developing gradually and with Gulf Air’s commitment, I am confident that facilities and services provided here will develop in no time.
“The comfort and happiness of travellers is our top priority. What’s the use of constructing new facilities and coming up with new services if travellers aren’t content?”
The new lounge, said Shaikh Ali, alongside other lounges available at the airport, will keep travellers satisfied while waiting for their flight.
“I hope that the new lounges that will open soon will be up to our travellers’ expectations,” he said.
“I am really proud of the facility and I hope it will maintain quality services at all times because providing good service means good marketing for the airport.
“The ministry and Gulf Air will work hand in hand to help raise the airline from its financial setback and I am assured that with the present management we are in the right track.”
Gulf Air president and chief executive James Hogan said the new state-of-the-art facility reflects the Arabian cultural and artistic heritage and will be a boost to Bahrain’s tourism.
“More decorations will be carried on the lounge, located on a 985 square-metre area, to ensure it is on top always,” he said.
“A separate room for smokers will be also added soon.”
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