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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 in South Africa.

Others: ACSA has a 10% stake in the GVK-led MIAL consortium, which operates Mumbai–Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in India, and manages São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport courtesy of its 20% interest in the concessionaire responsible for operating the Brazilian gateway until 2032.

Elsewhere in Africa, ACSA provides technical, advisory and consultancy services to airports in Ghana (Accra–Kotoka), Rwanda (Kigali–Bugesera) and Zambia (Lusaka–Kenneth Kuanda).

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: It continues to seek business opportunities in both the domestic and international markets.

News: Investing at home appears to be ACSA’s main priority for 2020 with a number of development projects expected to advance this year. They include the addition of a new runway and expanding the domestic arrivals and international facilities at Cape Town International Airport; Increasing the size of the arrivals area in Terminal A and raising the aircraft parking capacity at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport; and adding aircraft parking facilities and expanding the Bravo taxiway at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

Aena/Aena Internacional

World Headquarters: Madrid, Spain.

Airports 100% owned and operated: Aena operates 46 airports and two heliports in Spain including Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona El Prat airports.

Others: Aena Internacional has interests in 23 airports in Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico and the UK.

It has a controlling 51% shareholding in London Luton Airport in the UK; 37.89% and 50% stakes respectively in Colombia’s Cartagena de Indias (SACSA) and Cali Alfonso Bonilla Aragón (Aerocali) airports; and a 33.3% interest in Aeropuertos Mexicanos del Pacífico (AMP), which operates 12 Mexican gateways that include Tijuana, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, La Paz, San José de Cabo and Puerto Vallarta on behalf of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP).

In Jamaica, through AMP’s 17.4% stake in GAP, it has a controlling 74.5% interest in MBJ Airports Limited, which operates Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, and holds a 25 year concession agreement for Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport through GAP.

Elsewhere, through Aena Desarrollo Internacional, Aena Internacional holds a 30 year concession to operate and develop the airports of Recife, Maceió, Aracajú, Campina Grande, João Pessoa and Juazeiro do Norte airports in north east Brazil.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: Aena continues to consider new business opportunities worldwide.

News: Aena has been busy in the market, adding six Brazilian airports and Jamaica’s capital city gateway to its global portfolio within the last year. In March 2019, through subsidiary Aena Desarrollo Internacional, it successfully bid 437.5 million for the contract to operate Recife, Maceió, Aracajú, Campina Grande, João Pessoa and Juazeiro do Norte airports in north east Brazil. The 30 year concession, with the possible option of a five year extension, is due to commence in early 2020. Recife is Brazil’s eighth biggest airport by passenger numbers and fifth biggest for international passenger traffic. It added Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport in October 2019 when GAP officially took over responsibility for operating the gateway.


World Headquarters: Rome, Italy.

Airports 100% owned and operated: None.

Others: Rome’s Fiumicino (FCO) and Ciampino (CIA) airports courtesy of its 99.38% ownership of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR).

In France, it holds 60.4% of the shares in Azzurra Aeroporti, which has a 64% stake in Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA), the operator of Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes-Mandelieu and Saint Tropez airports.

Elsewhere in Italy, Atlantia has a 29.38% shareholding in Bologne Airport operator, Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi SpA, while separately ADR has a 15% stake in Genoa Airport.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: Not known at this stage.

News: If press reports are to be believed Atlantia, which is 30% owned by the Benetton family, is considering the sale of a 49% stake in ADR.

Atlantia entered the international airport arena in November 2016 with its acquisition of ACA, the operator of Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes-Mandelieu and Saint Tropez airports in France. Both its Rome and Côte d’Azur concessions have a 2044 expiry date.


World Headquarters: Düsseldorf, Germany.

Airports 100% owned and operated: None.

Others: AviAlliance holds a controlling 55.44% stake in the consortium responsible for operating Hungary’s Budapest Airport. The company also has shares in the European airports of  Athens (40%), Düsseldorf (30%) and Hamburg (49%).

In Puerto Rico, AviAlliance has a 40% stake in Aerostar Airport Holdings, operator of San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: Continues to monitor the market for good investment opportunities.

News: AviAlliance has expressed an interest in boosting its stake in Athens International Airport by acquiring an additional 30% of its shares currently held by the Greek government. In Latin America, its Northeast Region Consortium – formed with Brazilian company Pátria Investments – narrowly lost out to Aena Desarrollo Internacional in the recent tender for the concession to operate Recife, Maceió, Aracajú, Campina Grande, João Pessoa and Juazeiro do Norte airports in north east Brazil.

AviAlliance keen to grow airport portfolio

With traffic on the rise across its airport network, including San Juan in Puerto Rico which continues to recover from the infrastructure destroying impact of a 2017 hurricane, it is safe to say that 2019 did nothing to dull AviAlliance’s appetite for growth and expansion in the global arena.

Passenger numbers across its five airports has soared by more than 25% over the past five years and, in 2019, they handled 94 million passengers (+5.8%) between them.

“Rising demand is why we are investing in every aspect of the airports in our portfolio to improve passenger comfort and services,” says AviAlliance managing director, Gerhard Schroeder.

“In the past five years our airports have invested a total of 1.4 billion on expansion and development projects. Recent examples of this are Pier B at Budapest Airport, which we opened in 2018, and the revamping of the satellite terminal building at Athens International Airport. We have also started planning for new terminals at both airports.”

In addition to the ongoing development of its existing assets, the company is keen to grow its airport portfolio, and fellow managing director, Holger Linkweiler, admits that AviAlliance always has one eye on the market.

“We continuously seek new opportunities to expand our portfolio,” he says. “Our aim is to develop in the regions and countries we view as offering the most promising growth opportunities, such as Asia and South America.

“As one of the few airport operators and investors worldwide that offers expertise along the entire value chain, AviAlliance is looking for airports where we can add value.”

He notes that in order to attract AviAlliance, any new additions to its airport portfolio must be located in countries with good regulatory frameworks and political stability.

“We focus on airports where we can make an active contribution to creating or increasing the value of our investments by bringing in our broad expertise,” states Linkweiler.

He adds that today’s airport investment market is much tougher than it was 20 years ago. “The market for airport investments is currently tougher and more competitive than before. Long-term investments in airports have become increasingly attractive to investors and competition is therefore much stronger than in the past. And this increased competition, which has been observed for a few years now, has led to significantly higher prices,” says Linkweiler.

“Having said that, new regions and markets continue to open up for airport investment. It is therefore likely that the sector will remain interesting and attractive for a long time.”

Bouygues Construction Airport Concessions

Head office: Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.

Airports 100% owned and operated: None.

Others: The Bouygues Group has a 22% stake in Hermes Airports, operator of Larnaca and Paphos airports in Cyprus; a 20.77% shareholding in ZAIC-A Ltd, which holds the concession for Zagreb-Franjo Tuñman Airport in Croatia until 2043; and, together with sister company, Colas, has a 20% interest in Ravinala Airports, operator of Ivato (Antananarivo) and Facesne (Nosy Bé) airports in Madagascar, and a 15% interest in Iqaluit Airport in Canada.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: It continues to concentrate on its niche market of greenfield airport concession projects based on the strategy of developing new capacity and commercial enhancing infrastructure that equips its assets for growth, while having at the same time a positive impact on local economies and minimising their carbon footprint.

News: Agreeing to upgrade the facilities at Ivato and Fascene airports in Madagascar was key to Ravinala Airports winning the 28-year concession. A new 17,500sqm international terminal with the country’s first airbridges is expected to open at Ivato Airport in early 2020. The new terminal will be Excellence in Design for Green Efficiency (EDGE) certified by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

CCR Aeroportos

Head office: Saõ Paulo, Brazil.

Airports 100% owned and operated: None

Others: CCR Aeroportos, the wholly-owned airports division of the CCR Group, has a 75% stake in the private consortium which has a controlling 51% interest in the concessionaire awarded the rights to operate Brazil’s Belo Horizonte International Airport for 30 years.

Elsewhere in Latin America it has a 50% stake in Corporacíon Quiport, operator of Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Ecuador; and a 97.15% interest in Costa Rica’s San José–Juan Santamaria International Airport courtesy of operator, AERIS Holding Costa Rica.

In the Caribbean it owns 79.8% of the shares in Curaçao Airport Partners NV (CAP), which operates Curaçao International Airport.

CCR also has a 70% stake in Total Airport Services (TAS), an aviation service company that provides cargo, passenger, ramp, ground handling and warehousing services at nine US airports that include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and Houston (IAH).

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: CCR Aeroportos maintains that it is potentially interested in any project that meets the company’s investment criteria and commitment to infrastructure development, primarily in the US and Latin America.

News: CCR has not been active in the market since purchasing Airports Worldwide Holding BV’s shares in AERIS Costa Rica in May 2018 to take a controlling 97.15% interest in the company responsible for operating Costa Rica’s capital city gateway.

Changi Airports International (CAI)

World Headquarters: Singapore.

Airports 100% owned and operated: None.

Others: CAI, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Changi operator, Changi Airport Group (CAG), has a global presence.

In Asia-Pacific, CAI has a stake in Fukuoka International Airport Co (FIAC), which operates Fukuoka Airport in Japan under a 30-year concession agreement; and a 15% interest in Luzon International Premiere Airport Development (LIPAD) Corporation, the operator of Clark International Airport in the Philippines.

In Brazil, CAI has a 51% share in the consortium responsible for operating Rio de Janeiro’s Tom Jobim International Airport (Galeão).

In Russia, CAI has a 30% stake in Basel Aero, the management company trusted to develop the airports of Krasnodar, Sochi and Anapa in Krasnodar Krai, and a one-third stake in Vladivostok International Airport.

In India, CAI has a 30.2% holding in Bengal Aerotropolis Project Ltd, which owns a greenfield airport and is developing a township in Durgapur in West Bengal. Elsewhere, in China, CAI holds a 49% stake in a commercial joint venture with Chongqing Airport Group, which develops the non-aeronautical business of Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: As a global airport investor, manager and consultant, CAI says that it continuously evaluates opportunities and looks for projects where it can add value and where there is a strong fit with its global strategy.

News: In December 2019, CAI and its partner, PT Cardig Aero Services Tbk (CAS), won the 25-year concession for Labuan Bajo’s Komodo International Airport, a public-private project awarded by the Government of Indonesia. Last year also saw the addition of Fukuoka Airport in Kyushu prefecture in western Japan to CAI’s airport network. CAI counts Mitsubishi, Kyushu Electric Power and Nishi-Nippon Railroad as its partners in the concession. In the Philippines, work is underway on a new 110,000sqm passenger terminal at Clark International Airport. CAI and its partners won the 25-year concession to operate and develop the gateway in December 2018.

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1 Comment

  1. s.venkateshwaran 28th August 2023

    21st Century Airline Industry scenario.


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