Gulf Air Group has increased its ownership in Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) to 44% as part of a strategy to boost the company’s control over a key strategic aviation asset.

BAS provides ground handling services at Bahrain International Airport. It noted that proceeds will help the company expand to offer services to overseas airports.

An agreement was signed by Bahrain Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and Gulf Air Group Holding chairman Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, as well as BAS board of directors chairman Mohammed Jalal during the second day of the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) 2018.

“It will mean an improvement in the levels of service throughout the airport and a streamlining of procedures.”

The increase in shareholding in BAS is in line with a heads of terms agreement. Under it, the company will continue to offer ground handling agent services for passengers, luggage, aircraft, and catering services to Bahrain International Airport until at least 2034.

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The contract seeks to develop the overall level of service at BIA, while ensuring all ground handling operations meet international standards.

Mohammed said: “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 $1.1bn 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.”