Bahrain welcomes BA 747-8 freighter
Manama, March 20, 2012
Bahrain International Airport (BIA) recently welcomed the new Boeing 747-8 Freighter jet airliner of British Airways World Cargo, which touched ground in the region for the very first time.
The new 747-8F, IAG Cargo, is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency, said a BIA statement.
The flight is the largest 747 commercial aircraft built in the US. It comes in two main variants - the 747-8 Intercontinental (747-8I) for passengers and the 747-8 Freighter (747-8F) for cargo.
It is the longest passenger aircraft in the world and the freighter is the biggest airplane to operate with a British Airways flight number, it added.
“This is great news for our airport, adding to many other memorable occasions experienced at the region’s first airport. Cargo volumes are a lead indicator of business growth and having BA’s 747-8F landing in Bahrain on its weekly route is a great sign of confidence,” remarked Gordon Dewar, the CEO of Bahrain Airport Company.
BIA is a key airport in the Mena region, providing a gateway to the Northern Gulf. It also caters to nine cargo/airfreight carriers who represent 15 per cent of total air traffic movement in Bahrain.
The airport is a major hub for both Gulf Air and Bahrain Air operating hundreds of flights weekly. Together they account for 56 per cent of the total weekly operations and 1056 at the airport.
A total of 39 international airlines including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, KLM, United and Lufthansa operate around 460 services per week to a total of 60 destinations.
In addition to being the fastest growing cargo hub in the region with a number of international carriers the Bahrain International Airport is also a Middle East regional distribution centre, said the statement.
BIA is also a designated “super-hub” for DHL’s worldwide network whose services include significant operations to support the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The airport is a major regional hub for distribution by air and surface including Trans causeway trucking services to Saudi, Kuwait and the UAE. This account for over 3 million tonnes of cargo crosses the causeway annually.
Jude Winstanley, the senior VP said: 'IAG Cargo now has a full contingent of 747-8 Freighters, which have immediately been incorporated into our global schedule. The new aircraft provides increased capacity and reliability for customers as well as an expanded network of freighter routes.'
'We are pleased to start the 747-8F Middle East stop offs in Bahrain International Airport. We have been operating services to Bahrain for the past five years to meet customer demand.'
'It is an important market for cargo and we are committed to serving our growing client base in the region,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service