Gulf Air and Bahrain International Airport record significant H1 passenger and air traffic growth
Bahrain’s aviation sector saw significant growth during the first half of 2023, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), the operating and managing body of Bahrain International Airport (BIA), and Gulf Air, the Kingdom’s national carrier, jointly announced. The airport and airline both recorded a steady increase in passengers and air traffic compared to the same period last year, reflecting the success of their respective strategies and the ongoing recovery of the global aviation industry.
Over the past six months, Gulf Air welcomed 2,798,131 passengers, a 39.7% spike compared to 2,001,890 in 2022, and handled 38300 tons of cargo, Meanwhile BIA welcomed 4,098,582 passengers, up 43.2% from 2,862,976 last year, and recorded 44,160 air traffic movements, a 19.8% increase from 36,869 in 2022. Cargo tonnage handled reached 177,070, a 6.34% drop from 189,060 the previous year.,
Gulf Air CEO Captain Waleed Al Alawi said: “Our H1 growth comes on the back of efforts to further develop our extensive network by adding 7 new destinations and resuming popular routes as part of our successful summer campaign. Served by our modern fleet of 34 aircraft, our routes to Alexandria and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Goa, India; Mykonos, Greece; Nice, France; Bodrum, Turkey; and Malaga, Spain, to name a few, have proven incredibly popular. We look forward to building on our performance, cementing Bahrain’s position as a leading tourism destination, and showcasing the Kingdom’s renowned hospitality to the world.”
Gulf Air also received industry acclaim for its business acumen. Working in collaboration with Castlelake, a global alternative investment firm, the national carrier was presented with the ‘Innovative Deal of the Year’ award at the Air Finance Journal Global Awards. The award was for a deal secured by the two parties to finance the purchase of 10 Airbus A321neo aircraft through Pre-Delivery Payment (PDP) financing.
BAC Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah said: “Delivering excellent customer service while further enhancing air connectivity and route development are major areas of focus at BIA. Working alongside our partners, we are making steady progress towards achieving our strategic goals, as can be seen from the uptick in passengers and air traffic movements at the airport during the first half of 2023.”
He added: “This year, we have welcomed 6 new carriers, including SCAT Airlines, and Azerbaijan Airlines and added 8 new destinations, demonstrating our commitment to connecting Bahrain with the world. Moreover, we have received many prestigious global aviation industry recognitions in 2023, which reflect the hard work and professionalism of our team.”
Many of the aviation industry’s major players have recognized BIA’s commitment to delivering a safe, sustainable, and convenient travel experience this year. BIA was honored with the Airports Council International (ACI) Green Airports Recognition 2023 Silver Award for airports serving eight to 15 million passengers annually, and a certificate marking its upgrade to Level 4 ‘Transformation’ of the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation program.
BIA was named the World’s Best Airport for Baggage Delivery and won the award for the Best Airport Staff in the Middle East at the World Airport Awards, held at the 2023 Passenger Terminal Expo in Amsterdam. BAC was named Airport Operator of the Year (Medium-Sized Airports) at the Aviation Achievement Awards 2023. It was also presented with the Aviation Sustainability Award (Airports) and honored for Health & Safety Initiative of the Year (Business Aviation). Moreover, BIA received a 5-star rating from Skytrax, the world's top airport and airline rating body, for the second year in a row in recognition of the high standards of its facilities and services.