Steady increase in cargo demand at Bahrain International Airport

By Rachelle Harry

Bahrain International Airport has reported an increase in cargo demand last year, bucking global air cargo trends for the year.

In 2020, hub saw a 3.2% year on year increase in cargo volumes to 300,205 tonnes. Volumes have increased steadily, from 2015 to 2020, by 17%.

BIA’s increase in cargo volumes in 2020 contrasts with IATA’s full-year figures, which found that global air cargo demand, measured in cargo tonne-km (CTKs), fell by 10.6% — “the largest year-on-year drop since its records began” the association said.

Ayman Zainal, chief commercial officer at Bahrain Airport Company, commented: “At the start of the year, lockdowns and other control measures led to significant disruptions in supply chains and a general fall in economic activity, impacting both trade and air cargo. Although passenger traffic at BIA dropped significantly in 2020, cargo volumes continued to steadily increase. 

“The opening of the new passenger terminal in January this year and the ongoing development of a new Express Cargo Village ensure we are well-positioned to accommodate future growth.”

He added: “With its warehouses, aircraft parking and associated infrastructure, the new cargo area will enable BIA to handle larger volumes more efficiently, better cater to express cargo customers’ needs and create new job opportunities. Its development also support’s government-led efforts to transform logistics and air cargo into one of Bahrain’s primary industries.”

BIA’s cargo terminal covers an area of 25,000 sq m and offers services including export cargo sales, transhipment, inter airport trucking and customs clearance. It also has facilities for temperature-sensitive cargo and dangerous goods, as well as general cargo and mail.

Also at the hub is DHL’s Middle East Headquarters. Other companies with bases there include FedEx, TNT Express, Aramex and Global Logistical Services. 

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