The hangar, which is scheduled to be completed by 2011, will have capacity for three wide-body aircraft to undergo maintenance work at the same time. Work will get under way in 2009.

By installing the facility, Bahrain aims to establish itself as an international maintenance hub.

The announcement is the latest in a range of initiatives at Bahrain’s national carrier to introduce new revenue streams into the business and diversify the country’s aviation capacity.

Bids have been submitted by three companies aiming to become a joint venture partner to Gulf Air as the airline plans to separate its training academy into an individual unit.

The sale of the business will raise cash and cut overheads, while providing services that should be in strong demand throughout the regional aviation sector (MEED 25:9:08).