Briton takes over as new BAS chief


Briton Ray Sayer has taken over as chief executive of Bahrain Airport Services (BAS).

He succeeds Khalil Zaman, who retires on April 1, after a career with BAS spanning more than 20 years.

The BAS board, chaired by Transportation Minister Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, thanked Zaman for his hard work, dedication and loyalty, while welcoming Sayer at a recent meeting.

"The board expressed its appreciation to Zaman for his outstanding services, which contributed substantially to the growth and development of the company," BAS board member and executive committee chairman Jamil Wafa said, according to a local media report.

He said Zaman was a "tower of strength" for the company.

"The board has been looking for a suitable professional candidate to succeed him and we have been fortunate to find the right man," Wafa said.

"Mr Sayer, 51, a British Airways' veteran, has 28 years' experience with airlines and airports around the world."

Sayer also spent 18 months in Bahrain as Gulf Air's vice president-commercial, so he is familiar with the Bahrain market and the services offered by Bahrain International Airport.

Sayer said he considered the new position very challenging.

His career with British Airways has taken him to Miami, Riyadh, Kuwait, Mumbai (Bombay), Istanbul, Hong Kong, Doha, Bucharest, Damascus, Brunei and Zimbabwe, besides London.

He has held senior positions there either as airport manager or area manager.

During 1991-93, he was senior general manager at Gatwick Airport, which employs 6,000 people. He was responsible there for a wide range of services related to the handling of 35 aircraft.

Sayer also served as the managing director of the UK-registered GB Airways during 1993-94.

While working in Riyadh in 1977, Sayer was a frequent visitor to BA's regional office in Bahrain.

Four years ago, he was in Bahrain again to work for Gulf Air. After 18 months, he moved from Bahrain to the Carribean Islands and from his base at Antigua he managed the operations of Liat airlines.

"I am deeply honoured to come back to Bahrain and shall do my best to justify the confidence placed in me by the BAS board," said Sayer.