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ECONOMICS & FINANCE

Annecy Mont-Blanc to join VINCI Airport’s global network next year

VINCI Airports has added Annecy Mont-Blanc Airport to its global airport network after signing an agreement to resume responsibility for its management, operation and development for the next 15 years from January 1, 2022. All current staff at the French gateway will join the wholly owned VINCI Airports subsidiary handling the Annecy Mont-Blanc Airport concession. […]

Aviation can supercharge the UK’s economy post-Brexit

London Heathrow, desperate to speed up the return of safe international travel, today flagged up a new report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research, which claims that aviation needs to be at the heart of the UK’s future economic growth. The new research highlights how the UK could undergo an economic pivot post-Brexit, […]

FAA awards $8 billion in grants to help US airports recover from COVID

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced that it is to award $8 billion in grants to “keep US airport workers employed, construction projects going and help US airports recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic”. The funding for the grants comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 President Biden signed into […]

S&P Global Ratings expects cautious recovery for Europe’s airports

In the new edition of its Infrastructure & Energy Outlook magazine, S&P Global Ratings examines how airports and aviation have fared amid a resurgence of restrictions in Europe, and looks ahead to the future of the sector. “The rebound in European air traffic has been delayed, and a more meaningful recovery will now have to […]

Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan joins TAV’s global airport network

Global airport operator, TAV Airports, has officially taken over responsibility for operating Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan. TAV now owns 85% of Almaty Airport and its associated fuel and catering businesses with the Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund – managed by VPE Capital and backed by Kazyna Capital Management – holding the remaining 15% stake. Almaty is the […]

TAV Airports optimistic despite difficult operating climate

TAV Airports today revealed that its global airport network handled 3.3 million domestic and 1.1 million international passengers during the first three months of 2021. The passenger total is 60% down on the corresponding period last year and was accompanied by a 50% drop in revenues. TAV Airports Holding’s executive board member and CEO Sani […]

BLOG: Robotic cleaners can help airlines be more eco-friendly

Each year airlines begin new sustainability initiatives, experiment with biofuels, and offset their carbon emissions on selected flights; yet, sustainability should not only be a topic of discussion when an aircraft is in the air but also when it’s on the ground. In just one year, a Boeing 777, B787, Airbus A330, and A350, burn […]

VINCI Airports adds seven Brazilian gateways to global network

VINCI Airports has won the 30-year concession to operate and develop seven airports in the north of Brazil – Manaus, Porto Velho, Rio Branco, Boa Vista, Cruzeiro do Sul, Tabatinga and Téfé. Considered the gateways to the Amazon region and neighbouring Brazilian states, the airports welcomed 4.7 million passengers between them in 2019, the bulk […]

Demand for domestic air travel will spearhead US COVID-19 recovery

Leisure travel in America will push the US domestic airline industry to a COVID recovery by early 2022, according to a new report from consulting firm Oliver Wyman. “A year ago, we would have thought that a full domestic recovery in this timeframe for the US was almost impossible, but the combination of pent-up demand, economic […]

Hamburg aiming to bounce back from first ever annual loss

Hamburg Airport today admitted that the coronavirus pandemic has left deep scars in its balance sheet, revealing that the “unprecedented crisis” has resulted in a first-ever annual deficit of €113 million. And the German airport, which saw its passenger numbers drop by 73% to 4.56 million in 2020, notes that without a strict savings programme, […]

UK government urged to approve Arrivals duty free shops at airports

In the UK, a cross-party group of over sixty MPs and Peers have written to the Chancellor calling for the introduction of Arrivals duty free shops at British airports, international rail and ferry terminals. They claim the move would have a hugely positive economic impact for airports and duty free operators in the UK. To […]

Copenhagen Airport renegotiates deal with airlines to kick-start traffic return

Copenhagen Airport (CPH) and its airlines have announced that they have “struck an agreement” that they believe will provide the necessary commercial framework for a restart of traffic and the route network at the Danish gateway. The agreement sets out prices and incentives for flying to and from CPH over the coming years following the […]

Munich Airport’s LabCampus attracts autonomous vehicle technology pioneer

Munich Airport’s LabCampus innovation centre will shortly have a new tenant – one of the world’s leading technology companies in the autonomous driving sector, Argo AI, which is expected to test and develop vehicles on the site. Established in 2016 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company has partnerships with US car manufacturer Ford and […]

New operator of Blackpool Airport planning for better days

Blackpool Airport has had no commercial traffic since March 2017 and that situation seems unlikely to change anytime soon, but its local council owners are so confident in its future that they have decided to take over the management of UK gateway. The decision, announced today, means that Blackpool Council’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Blackpool Airport Operations […]

London Gatwick admits to ‘renewed optimism’ for 2021

Gatwick Airport’s CEO, Stewart Wingate, today reiterated his confidence in the airport’s ability to bounce back from the toughest year in its history and experience international passenger growth again from the summer. Wingate says: “It will come as no surprise that, like any other international airport, the negative impact of COVID-19 resulted in a financial […]

Heathrow confirms “devastating impact of COVID-19”, but hopeful for better 2021

London Heathrow today revealed that the airport lost £2 billion in 2020 as its passenger numbers slumped from 80.9 million in 2019 to just 22.1 million last year. It notes that the “devastating impact of COVID-19” led to its overall revenue plummeting 62% to £1.2 billion and adjusted EBITDA falling to £270 million. The UK […]

Global ratings agency forecasts tough year ahead for Europe’s airports

Passenger traffic and revenue at Europe’s airports this year is likely to be around 30% to 50% down on 2019 levels, according to a new report by S&P Global Ratings. The global ratings agency’s forecast is based the new travel restrictions implemented to curb the spread of fast-spreading COVID-19 variants, which it claims have “dealt […]

Christchurch Airport well placed to ride out global pandemic

Christchurch Airport is citing lessons learnt from the earthquakes, extensive changes it made to its business across 2015-2019 and its preparation for events like a pandemic, for its ability to pivot to a domestic operating model that can essentially break even while the pandemic’s impact on the borders evolves. The airport has revealed that it […]

Miami International Airport receives COVID-19 relief fund grant

Miami International Airport has been awarded $39.5 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government, in the second round of airport grants from the Federal Aviation Administration. The second grant follows $207 million in funding that MIA received last April from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant […]

Fraport extends Antalya Airport concession by two years

The Turkish government has agreed to extend Fraport’s management concession for Antalya Airport by two years to the end of 2026 and to defer its annual concession fee for 2022 to 2024. The global airport operator says that the agreement will help the Fraport TAV Antalya joint venture to relaunch Antalya Airport on a steady […]

Airbus signs MoU with India’s GMR Group

India’s GMR Group, a global airport operator and aviation infrastructure developer, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus to explore collaboration opportunities across aviation services, technologies and innovation. The agreement will see GMR Group and Airbus team up to explore potential synergies in several strategic areas of aviation services including maintenance, components, training, […]

UK government launches aid package for England’s airports

The UK government has unveiled plans to give airports in England up to £8 million each to help get them through the next few months as COVID-19 continues to bring traffic to a virtual standstill across the globe. Under the government scheme opening today, commercial airports and ground handlers could receive a maximum of £8 […]

Vienna’s traffic recovery to begin in second half of year

Vienna Airport is optimistic that its passenger numbers will enjoy a “strong upswing” in the second half of the year as the vaccination drive to combat COVID-19 begins to have a positive impact on air travel. Like most other airports, the Austrian gateway experienced a grim 2020 with the pandemic causing traffic levels to decline […]

New twist for potential third runway at London Heathrow

Whether it ever happens or not is another matter, but a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport is now potentially back on the agenda following the Supreme Court ruling that the government’s decision to approve its expansion was lawful. Today’s ruling overturns a decision by three leading judges earlier this year that former Transport Secretary, Chris […]

Swedavia secures loan from Nordic Investment Bank

Swedish airport operator, Swedavia, has secured a €49 million loan from the Nordic Investment Bank to help it through COVID-19. The seven-year SEK 500 million loan agreement is a COVID-19 response loan aimed at facilitating financing for industries heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. “The loan helps to further strengthen our liquidity at a time […]

ACI World confirms that airports are set for big losses in 2020

ACI World has published its fifth COVID-19 economic impact analysis revealing the devastating effect on the airport industry and the prospects for recovery. The Advisory Bulletin, The impact of COVID-19 on the airport business, reveals the global airport industry will record a reduction of more than six billion passengers by the end of 2020 compared […]

Job sharing initiative to save further redundancies at Copenhagen Airport

Copenhagen Airport’s operator today revealed that 380 staff are to begin sharing jobs in a bid to reduce further redundancies as a result of the downturn in traffic caused by COVID-19. With traffic currently at less than 10% of normal levels, Copenhagen Airports has just completed negotiations for its second cost-cutting round in only three […]

Adani Group officially becomes newest Indian airport operator

The Adani Group has officially taken over responsibility for operating three Airports Authority of India (AAI) managed airports. The company, which harbours ambitions to become a key player in the Indian market, added Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI Airport) to its airport network at the weekend. The move follows the addition of Mangaluru […]

Survive to transform

The COVID-19 pandemic is without doubt the worst crisis the aviation industry has ever faced and could permanently change the way we travel, writes Armando Brunini, CEO and general manager of SEA Milan Airports. Like other airport operators, SEA Milan Airports, responded to the pandemic by implementing a number of measures aimed at safeguarding the […]

ACI Europe warns that nearly 200 airports facing bankruptcy

ACI Europe today warned that 193 of the continent’s airports face insolvency in the coming months if passenger traffic does not start to recover by the year end. These airports are estimated to support 277,000 jobs and €12.4 billion of Europe’s GDP. According to ACI Europe, unless governments step up and provide support now, Europe […]

Survey provides reminder of economic power of Louisville’s airports

In normal times, Louisville’s airports are responsible for some 82,723 jobs across the region and have an annual economic impact of around $10.4 billion, according to their latest economic impact survey. Key drivers of the local economy, the Kentucky city’s airports – Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) and Bowman Field (LOU) – also usually […]

Munich Airport subsidiary wins cargo concession in El Salvador

Munich Airport International (MAI), the international management and consulting arm of Munich Airport, is to expand its influence to Central America by developing and operating a new cargo terminal at San Salvador’s El Salvador International Airport. MAI, part of the SOF Connect consortium which this summer signed finalised the concession agreement to operate and develop […]

Time to end unfair and economically inefficient aviation taxes – ACI World

ACI World has published a policy brief calling for an end to the “economically inefficient and discriminatory taxation of aviation”, which it believes is hampering the industry’s recovery from COVID-19. The new publication, Policy Brief: Taxation of international air transport and airports – Economic benefits and costs, explores, and provides potential remedies to, the imbalance […]

Millions of jobs at risk unless aviation industry picks up

Up to 46 million aviation related jobs around the world will be lost due to the severe downturn in air traffic caused by COVID-19, followed by a slow recovery, according to new industry figures released today. Under normal circumstances, aviation and the tourism facilitates support 87.7 million jobs worldwide. Over 11 million jobs are within […]

Funding secured for airfield upgrade at Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport

Fraport owned Lima Airport Partners (LAP) has signed a $450 million financing agreement for an airside development programme at Peru’s Jorge Chávez International Airport. Four international banks – comprising KfW IPEX-Bank, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria – are providing the loan. Fraport’s and LAP´s finance […]

Airport community relief package extended in Hong Kong

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) today announced that its relief package for the airport community will extend for another two months to end of October 2020 in view of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic and continuing political unrest in Hong Kong has had a huge impact on traffic at Hong […]

London City Airport to pause expansion programme at end of 2020

London City Airport has decided to temporarily pause its Capital Development Programme (CADP) at the end of the year upon completion of new aircraft stands, a full-length parallel taxiway and new passenger facilities. Since recommencing commercial flights on June 21, the airport has welcomed back four airlines, including its home-based carrier, BA City Flyer, and […]

Copenhagen Airports set to reduce workforce as traffic downturn begins to bite

Copenhagen Airports (CPH), arguably one of the world’s best run airport operators, today revealed that its COVID-19 survival plan includes potentially making a quarter of its staff redundant. CPH notes that to “secure its long-term competitive strength”, it will align its organisation to the lower level of activity which the aviation industry is currently experiencing […]

Port Authority to extend cogeneration plant agreement at New York JFK

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has agreed to extend its deal with Kennedy International Airport Cogeneration (KIAC) Partners to operate, maintain and upgrade the on-airport heating and cooling facility serving the Central Terminal Area at New York JFK. “The Port Authority is thrilled to continue our partnership with KIAC to bring […]

SOF Connect consortium signs concession contract for Sofia Airport

Sofia Airport will shortly be under new management after the SOF Connect consortium signed the concessionaire agreement for the gateway with the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport. Yesterday’s signing ceremony means that the project has now entered a new phase and SOF Connect partners Meridiam, Strabag and Munich Airport say that they are “looking forward to […]

Asia’s airlines claim more must be done to kick-start international travel

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) is urging governments to ease what it claims are “unduly onerous restrictions on international air travel” to re-establish global connectivity with evidence-based measures to safeguard public health. More than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asia Pacific air transport industry notes that it is taking initial steps […]

ACI World data demonstrates economic and social power of aviation

ACI World’s World Airport Traffic Report Dataset covering passenger traffic, cargo volumes, and aircraft movements for 2019 provides a timely reminder of why the world needs a healthy aviation industry. In 2019, the world’s airports accommodated 9.1 billion passengers, 120 million metric tonnes of cargo and more than 102 million aircraft movements while the industry […]

Airport cities can help future proof airports – new report

The development of airport cities can help future-proof airports post COVID-19, according to a white paper issued today by consultants, NACO. The white paper reports that, with almost 90% of airports revenues being passenger-related, there is a clear need for airports to diversify their revenue streams in order to reduce both revenue volatility and the […]

S&P lowers ratings on six European airport operators

S&P Global Ratings today lowered the ratings on four European airports/associated companies (and a further two CreditWatch revisions) as the rating agency anticipates a slower recovery in passenger traffic than first anticipated. The four downgrades are: • Royal Schiphol Group NV (Schiphol). Ratings to ‘A’ from ‘A+’ • Flughafen Zurich AG. Ratings to ‘A’ from […]

All change?

Lufthansa Consulting’s Catrin Drawer and Andreas Jahnke consider what the impact of COVID-19 is likely to be on the investment appeal of airports across the globe. Does COVID-19 mean that airports have finally lost their mantra of being a safe, long-term investment opportunity for investors? The short answer is ‘no’, because airport investments have never […]

Plant-based manufacturer to open complex in Edmonton’s Airport City

Edmonton International Airport’s Airport City continues to grow with the news that manufacturing company, Plant Plus, will shortly become its newest tenant. The company specialises in making plant fibre polymer tech (PFP tech) products such as cups, straws and mobile phone cases that are recyclable and compostable alternatives to plastic or paper. According to Edmonton […]

Swedavia boosted by cash injection from Swedish government

Swedish airport operator, Swedavia, has received a SEK3.15 billion cash injection from the government to help it survive the COVID-19 crisis. Swedavia says that the “contribution” from its shareholder, which amounts to around €300,000, will secure the “financial position” of the state owned company. “We welcome our owner’s support in a very difficult situation. Society […]

Struggle goes on for Europe’s airports

ACI Europe reports that Europe’s airports continued to be at an almost complete stand-still during the month of May, with passenger traffic an alarming 98% down on the same period last year. As a result, only 4.3 million passengers travelled through the European network of 500+ airports in May, compared to 216.8 million last year. […]

Sofia Airport concession ratified by Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court

The Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria has ended almost a year of legal wrangling by confirming that Meridiam and its partner, Munich Airport subsidiary Munich Airport International (MAI), has won the concession to operate and development Sofia Airport. The companies make up the SOF Connect consortium awarded the concession by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Transport in […]

COVID-19 traffic downturn costing daa €1 million per day

Irish airport operator, daa, today revealed that it is currently losing €1 million per day and has lost an estimated €160 million in turnover so far this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes that it has operations in 16 countries and that the global pandemic has affected all of its businesses, “which […]

ACC identifies $31.7 billion in renovation related projects at US airports

The Airport Consultants Council (ACC) claims to have identified more than $31 billion in rehabilitation and maintenance projects at 46 US airports, based on responses to one of its surveys conducted earlier this year. In February, it released an updated report providing an overview of more than 100 airports’ upcoming capital development spending needs through […]

Aerotropolis engines beyond Asia

Aerotropolis concept leader, Dr John Kasarda, provides an update of airport city and aerotropolis developments in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and considers the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on aviation and future developments. Last issue, I described how the Asia-Pacific region leads airport city and aerotropolis development. Other world regions are […]

Europe’s airports on their knees – ACI Europe

ACI Europe today warned that the continent’s airports are “on their knees” and facing irreversible consequences unless air travel can restart, in a COVID-19 safe way, this summer. The warning follows a 98.6% drop in passenger numbers in April, when just 2.8 million people passed through Europe’s 500+ airports. “Europe’s airports are on their knees. […]

TAV agrees to buy Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan

Global airport operator, TAV Airports, has agreed a $450 million fee to buy Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan. The main gateway to Kazakhstan is an important junction in the modern ‘Silk road’ and will become the 15th airport in TAV’s global network. TAV confirms that the deal will see it and investment partner, VPE Capital, purchase […]

COVID-19 detection trials to start at London Heathrow

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, has told the UK’s House of Commons Transport Committee that COVID-19 detection trials are to start at his gateway as beleaguered Britain steps up its battle against the coronavirus. According to the airport, a key motivation is the desire to drive forward the development of a Common International Standard by trialling […]

Aviation’s need for financial assistance now urgent

The associations of the world’s airports and airlines today joined forces to urge governments to act swiftly with financial grants to help keep their members survive the coronavirus crisis. ACI World and IATA believe that financial aid is vital to assist airport operators and airlines during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, and support the essential connectivity […]

Europe looking at ways to restore air connectivity

ACI Europe has today called for full EU co-ordination and alignment on how current restrictions to air travel should be lifted. The call comes as a number of European states have begun to work on the progressive lifting of confinement measures. EU transport Ministers are also due to meet tomorrow to address the challenge of restoring […]

ACI reminds world about economic importance of aviation

ACI World has provided a timely reminder about the importance of aviation to the global economy by revealing that the industry generated close to $180 billion in revenue in 2018. The significant sum will, of course, be in stark contrast to this year, with the association predicting that airport revenues could fall by up to […]

Federal funding for Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport (MIA) is to receive $207 million in funding from the federal government to help it get through the coronavirus crisis. The payment, the biggest in Florida to date under the US government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program – will be used to support the airport’s ongoing […]

Cargo volumes soar at Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport (ONT) in southern California has become the latest gateway to report a huge rise in cargo volumes since the start of the coronavirus crisis. The airport admits that while its terminals have been quiet for much of last month, air cargo shipments into and out of ONT soared by 22% in March, […]

The A-Z of global airport operators

Joe Bates find out more about the ambitions, business philosophies and development plans of 28 operators with a global portfolio of airports. Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) World Headquarters: Johannesburg, South Africa. Airports 100% owned and operated: Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Cape Town, Durban–King Shaka, Upington, East London, George, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth and Bram Fischer (Bloemfontein) airports […]

Fantastic journey!

AviaDev Europe’s managing director, Juraj Toth, discusses the economics of route development and the global value of aviation. In the past few months, the aviation industry has become an easy target in the global fight against climate change. People all around the world, but especially in Europe, have been pointing fingers at air transport as […]

Hong Kong airport’s CEO and executive team to take pay cuts

Fred Lam, the CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has agreed to take a voluntary 20% pay cut for six months as part of the latest measures to help Hong Kong International Airport get through the coronavirus crisis. “The entire aviation industry is facing unprecedented difficulties because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Lam. “The […]

Aerotropolis business magnets

How are the world’s airport city/aerotropolis developments faring? Some hugely ambitious projects in the Asia-Pacific region come under the microscope in the first of a two-part global review by Dr John Kasarda. Today’s airports are powerful business magnets and metropolitan region economic accelerators. Functioning much like central train stations of our urban past, they increasingly […]

Corporacíon América Airports outlines revised 2020 business plan

Global airport operator, Corporación América Airports (CAAP) has announced that it experienced a 14.6% drop in EBITDA in 2019 and outlined a number of business measures designed to guide it through the coronavirus crisis. Fiscal highlights in 2019 are said to include a year-on-year rise of 9.3% in consolidated revenues to $1.5 billion, while passenger […]

Singapore Changi to consolidate terminal operations from May 1

Singapore Changi has become the latest airport to announce plans to downsize its operations during the coronavirus crisis, closing Terminal 2 from May 1. Operator, Changi Airport Group (CAG), says that move is in response to “the steep decline in passenger traffic and the likelihood that air travel demand will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels […]

THE BUYING GAME

Simon Morris, vice president at ICF International, reviews some of the major airport transactions of last year and speculates what deals could be in store for 2020. Last year confounded the airport transaction pessimists with a high volume of good quality assets sold at healthy prices. And, although secondary sales predominated, there were nonetheless some […]

ON THE MAP

The utilisation of geographic information system (GIS) mapping technology has helped Reno- Tahoe International Airport become an economically competitive hub, writes Esri’s Terry Bills. Airports play an increasingly important role in connecting economies, strengthening global supply chains, and driving regional development. Owned and operated by the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA), Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) currently […]

BEYOND BORDERS

Irish airport operator, daa, has business interests across the globe courtesy of its wholly owned subsidiaries, writes daa International CEO, Nick Cole. The daa Group is made up of four distinct businesses; Dublin Airport, Cork Airport, daa International and Aer Rianta International. My company, daa International, is a wholly owned subsidiary of daa plc, whose […]

GOING GLOBAL

Joe Bates finds out more about the history, plans and future ambitions of a handful of global airport investors at different stages of their development and investment cycles. The news that owner, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), is set to pocket close to £3 billion later this year from the sale of a 50.01% stake in London’s Gatwick […]

THE BUYING GAME

Modalis chief executive, Curtis Grad, provides his annual review on private-sector investment in the global airport market, taking stock of 2018’s biggest deals, success stories and other transactions that didn’t quite get across the line. In terms of the number or size of transactions, 2018 was far from a banner year for the industry, although […]