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Bahrain airport slammed for 600% rent increase

Airlines and travel agents threaten to quit airport, states report.
Bahrain, NEWS, Aviation

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Airlines and travel agents could be forced out of business at Bahrain International Airport following a major increase in rent, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News.

Rents could increase by a maximum of 600% under the revised fee structure, which was announced earlier this year and will be implemented on 15th April 2010.

One of the airport’s oldest tenants told the Gulf Daily News that the increase would “kill our business” and result in others relocating away from the airport.

"We have been paying a total of BD80 per month for the last few decades for the facility that we have. Now, suddenly, we are asked to pay BD250. Over and above that, we are to pay a hefty deposit and an airport management charge," said the owner.

"If Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) is serious about developing the airport, this new structure has to be re-considered.”

A spokesperson for BAC has defended the revised fee structure, which was introduced following research into standard rates in local and international airports.

"The fee structure at Bahrain International Airport did not reflect more recent market dynamics and has remained unchanged for many years. Past rates were below market prices. There were also inconsistencies among the fee structures, depending on the timing of contract signing," he said.

“The new fee system establishes enhanced rules and regulations and is transparent and standardised among all aeronautical and non-aeronautical partners. Internationally renowned legal consultants have reviewed the past setup and provided references from other airports from around the globe."

Bahrain International Airport is currently in the middle of a BD1.8 billion expansion, with two new terminals set to be opened within the next four years.

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