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What Asia-Pacific based companies own, operate or have shares in airports across the world? Joe Bates investigates.

Changi Airports International (CAI)

World Headquarters: Singapore

Airports 100% owned and operated: None.

Others: The wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Changi operator, Changi Airport Group (CAG), CAI has a 40% 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, Anapa and Gelendzhik in Krasnodar Krai. The other stakeholders in the joint venture are Russia’s Basic Element group and OJSC Sberbank.

Also in Russia, CAI has a 33.3% stake in the consortium responsible for operating Vladivostok International Airport. Investment partners Basic Element and the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) also have a 33.3% shareholding in the gateway.

Elsewhere, in India, CAI has a 36.7% holding in Bengal Aerotropolis Project Ltd, which is developing a greenfield airport and township in Durgapur in West Bengal, and in Saudi Arabia it spearheads the consortium responsible for operating and managing Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport and has managed King Fahd International Airport since 2008.

CAI is also a key partner in the consortium that has signed a Framework Agreement with Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation designed to pave the way for the concession for Yangon’s new Hanthawaddy International Airport. The consortium comprises CAI (20%), JGC Corporation (55%) and Yongnam Holdings Limited (25%).

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: Always looking for expansion opportunities.

News: On 1 May this year Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) named a CAI-led consortium as the winning bidder for the 20-year concession to operate Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport. CAI has also recently signed a commercial joint venture agreement with China’s Chongqing Airport Group (CAGC). The agreement – which is part of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI) between Singapore and Chongqing – will see both companies collaborating to enhance the retail/F&B offerings at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.

GMR Airports Limited (GAL)

World Headquarters: Bengaluru, India

Airports 100% owned and operated: None.

Others: In partnership with local company, Megawide Construction Corporation, GMR has a 25-year operating concession for Mactan-Cebu International Airport in The Philippines.

On home turf in India, GMR Airports Limited (GAL) operates the gateways of Hyderabad–Rajiv Gandhi and Delhi-Indira Gandhi, courtesy of 63% and 64% shareholdings respectively in operators GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL) and Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL).

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: GMR is actively looking to expand its global airport portfolio.

News: The award of the concession to build, 100% own and operate Goa’s new Mopa International Airport in India is a major development for GMR. Wholly owned subsidiary, GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), has signed a 40-year concession agreement for the new airport, the first phase of which is expected to open in 2019/2020. The deal includes the possibility for a 20-year extension to the concession.

In Europe, GMR Airports Limited (GAL) has joined forces with the GEK-Terna Group to submit the winning €530 bid for the concession to build and operate the new Kastelli Airport in Crete, Greece. The deal is awaiting approval from the Greek parliament, which is expected before the end of the year. The gateway will replace Heraklion’s Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport and is believed to have the potential to become Greece’s second busiest airport.

Quote: GAL’s president for finance and business development, Sidharath Kapur, says: “Goa, the location of Mopa International Airport, is the most prominent tourist destination in India and Crete is the largest and most visited island in Greece. Traffic in Goa reached 7mppa in 2016 and is growing at over 30% per annum, while current traffic at Kastelli is 7mppa, which is also growing at steady rate. Both airports are primarily tourist airports, which present an attractive avenue to maximise non-aero revenues.

“Mopa will further consolidate our position as the largest airport developer in India while Crete Airport marks the first foray of GMR in to the European market.”

Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC)

World Headquarters: Incheon, South Korea

Airports 100% owned and operated: Incheon International Airport in South Korea.

Others: It has a 5% stake in Khabarovsk Novy Airport in eastern Russia.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: It has revealed that it intends selling its shares in Khabarovosk Novy Airport later this year.

News: Incheon exports its expertise globally through a series of management and consultancy contracts. These include acting as an operations consultant to IGA Havalimani İşletmesi AS for the €10.2 billion Istanbul New Airport; developing a national aviation master plan for Paraguay; and acting as an advisor for commercial operations in Terminal 3 at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB)

World Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur

Airports 100% owned and operated: Kuala Lumpur International Airport and 38 other Malaysian gateways that include the international airports of Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang; Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen (ISGIA) in Turkey.

Others: Malaysia Airports has an 11% stake in GHIAL, the GMR-led operator of Hyderabad–Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in India.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: Increasing its international footprint is a key element of MAHB’s Runway to Success 2020 (RtS2020) business plan.

News: Although it hasn’t added to its global airport portfolio since increasing its shareholding in ISGIA in 2014, and has since disposed of its 10% stake in India’s Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport, Malaysia Airports remains on the lookout for new investment opportunities.

Its RtS2020 business plan states: “Our international expansion efforts will be focused on making strategic long-term investments in airport assets. We will use a strategic approach to invest in selected international assets.

“These investments will allow us to benefit from a continuous revenue stream and contribute to group-level accretion. It will also have the added advantage of increasing our international footprint and export core airport capabilities.

We will export our consultancy capabilities and leverage our airport operator capabilities to improve newly-acquired asset efficiency and uplift profitability.”

TAV Airports Holding

World headquarters: Istanbul, Turkey

Airports 100% owned and operated: Istanbul Atatürk, Ankara Esenboğa, Izmir Adnan Menderes, Milas-Bodrum and Antalya–Gazipasa in Turkey, and Skopje Alexander the Great and Ohrid St Paul the Apostle airports in Macedonia.

Others: It has a controlling stake in the companies responsible for operating Tbilisi (80%) and Batumi (76%) airports in Georgia and holds a majority 67% shareholding in both Monastir Habib Bourgiba and Enfidha-Hammamet airports in Tunisia.

In Saudi Arabia the TAV-led Tibah Airports consortium (TAV, Saudi Oger and Al Rajhi Holding Group each with a 33.3% stake) has a 25-year concession to operate Medina’s Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport. Elsewhere in the Kingdom, TAV has signed a 30-year concession to operate and develop Qassim and Ha’il airports in partnership with Al Rajhi Holding Group; and Yanbu Prince Abdul Mohsin Bin Abdulaziz International Airport, again with the Al Rajhi Group, through another 30-year contract.

In Europe, TAV has a 15% stake in the ZAIC consortium that has a 30-year concession to operate and develop Zagreb Airport in Croatia. Its consortium partners are ADP Management, Bouygues Bâtiment International (BBI), Viadukt (a Croatian construction company), Marguerite Fund, and IFC, a member of World Bank Group. Additionally, TAV operates commercial spaces in Riga, Latvia.

Plans to expand/reduce portfolio: The addition of more airports is almost a certainty.

News: Ha’il Regional Airport and Qassim’s Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Airport are the latest additions to TAV’s ever-growing portfolio, the company signing a 30-year concession agreement with the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in April 2017.

Quote: “TAV has become one of the world’s highly-preferred brands thanks to the know-how acquired in the airport construction and operation business,” says TAV Airports president and CEO, Sani Şener. “Our success in the Medinah Airport project, which was the first airport privatisation project in Saudi Arabia, opened new doors in this country.”


Changi Airports International (CAI) – in it for the long-haul

CEO, Liang Song Lim, notes that CAI’s ventures into Russia and Brazil have been highly successful to date, demonstrated by steady traffic growth and Sochi Airport’s success in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction survey.

He is also quick to point out that CAI is a long-term investor and since taking over Tom Jobim International Airport in 2014, the consortium comprising CAI, Odebrecht Transport and Infraero has invested R$2 billion on new infrastructure that has increased the airport’s capacity by nearly 90% to 37.5mppa.

“We have also introduced a wide range of innovations in the airport, paving the way for airport operator, RIOgaleão, to achieve ISO 9001 certification for its quality management system in 2016,” he says.

“We remain committed to developing Tom Jobim International Airport into a world-class gateway into the region, with expanded links to Asia, especially China, which we believe holds untapped potential in terms of Brazil’s fantastic tourism appeal; and a positive impact on ancillary businesses and employment.”

Talking about the competitiveness of the airport investment market today, Lim tells Asia-Pacific Airports magazine: “In the past, airport operators were the primary investors. The landscape has changed significantly in recent years, however, and increasingly financial investors are coming into the picture, forming consortia with airport operators, with the aim of enhancing the asset through both operational and financial structuring improvements.

“Other players include conglomerates seeking to increase the vertical integration of their other business such as in construction. Concessionaires in ports, roads and other infrastructure projects are also seeking to expand into this space.”

In addition to being an equity investor in airports outside of Singapore, CAI also exports its expertise internationally in the fields of hub and route development; commercial and retail development; operational efficiency and service quality (including ORAT and event management); airport planning and engineering; human capital development; and integrated management.

“We combine the expertise gained from the development of Singapore Changi with our experience across multiple geographies and airport assets to help partner airports deliver a best-in-class travel experience while optimising the airport’s full commercial value,” he says.


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