Spanish airport operator Aena has been awarded the management of 11 airports in Brazil, including São Paulo Congonhas Airport

Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport © Valter Campanato/ABr — Agência Brasil, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2436013
  • The price of the concession, as a result of the public auction, was R$2.450 billion—about €468 million
  • The total amount of the operation, including the sum of the commitments indicated in the concession specifications, amounts to approximately R$4.089 billion (€780 million)
  • Planned investments will be around R$5 billion
  • In 2019, the group of 11 airports recorded a total of 26.8 million passengers, 12% of the country’s air traffic in that fiscal year
  • Congonhas Airport, with 22.8 million passengers per year, is the group’s busiest airport and the second busiest in Brazil
  • The concession contract is scheduled to be signed in February 2023
  • The concession period is 30 years, with the possibility of an additional five years, which demonstrates Aena’s long-term commitment to Brazil
  • This is the largest international operation carried out to date by Aena
  • Northeast Brazil Airport Group already wholly manages six airports in the northeast region of Brazil
  • Aena will operate a network of 17 airports in Brazil and manage the largest concession airport network in the country
  • Chairman and CEO of Aena, Maurici Lucena: “Despite the hard times we have been through due to COVID-19, we have always prioritised creating value for public and private shareholders and employees, and we are convinced that Aena’s internationalisation is a guarantee for the future
  • Brazil’s potential is undisputed. Its domestic traffic, for example, has fully recovered” 
  • The company is also present in the United Kingdom, with 51% management of London Luton Airport, as well as in airports in Mexico, Colombia and Jamaica
  • The airport manager consolidates its global leadership by the number of passengers
Through its subsidiary Aena Desarrollo Internacional at a public auction, Aena has been awarded the concession of 11 airports in Brazil, located in four states (São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais and Pará) for a period of 30 years, with the possibility of an additional five years.

The largest airport, Congonhas Airport, is the second busiest in terms of passenger traffic in Brazil. It is located in the State of São Paulo, which covers an area of 248,219 km², or about half the size of Spain, and its population is 46.3 million inhabitants, similar to that of Spain or Argentina, twice that of Chile and four times that of Portugal. These population figures offer an enormous area of uptake. In addition, São Paulo is the largest financial centre in Latin America and Brazil, the largest economy in the region and the ninth in the world.

Regarding this operation, which is the most significant one that Aena has carried out in the international field so far, the Chairman and CEO of the airport manager, Maurici Lucena, has reiterated that “the company’s priority is always to create value for its public and private shareholders and employees” and that “despite the hard times we have been through due to COVID-19, we are convinced that Aena’s internationalisation is a guarantee for the future of the company”. He emphasised that domestic traffic in Brazil has fully recovered since the pandemic and, therefore, concludes: “Brazil’s potential is undisputed”.

In 2019, the group of 11 airports recorded a total of 26.8 million passengers, which is 12% of the country’s air traffic in that fiscal year. Congonhas-São Paulo Airport is the busiest with 22.8 million passengers.

The concession airports are the following:

–    Congonhas Airport – São Paulo/SP – 22.8 million passengers
–    Campo Grande Airport – Campo Grande/MS – 1.5 million passengers
–    Ten. Cel. Aviador César Bombonato Airport – Uberlândia/MG – 1.15 million passengers
–    Maestro Wilson Fonseca Airport – Santarém/PA – 480,000 passengers
–    João Corrêa da Rocha Airport – Marabá/PA – 270,000 passengers
–    Mário Ribeiro Airport – Montes Claros/MG – 230,000 passengers
–    Carajás Airport – Parauapebas/PA – 140,000 passengers
–    Altamira Airport – Altamira/PA – 100,000 passengers
–    Mario de Almeida Franco Airport – Uberaba/MG – 80,000 passengers
–    Corumbá Airport – Corumbá/MS – 30,000 passengers
–    Ponta Porã International Airport – Ponta Porã/MS – (no travellers reported in 2019)

Main figures of the operation

The price of the concession, i.e. the result of the public auction, was R$2.450 billion—about €468 million. With the sum of the commitments indicated in the concession specifications, the total value of the operation amounts to approximately R$4.089 billion, which is about €780 million.

The management of these 11 airports entails the obligation to pay a variable consideration with a four-year grace period, consisting of a percentage of gross revenue, which will increase from 3.23% to 16.15% per year.

According to the planning and studies carried out on the investments required, investments are expected to be close to R$5 billion (at constant prices in 2020). Of these investments, 73% will be carried out during the first phase of the concession, until 2028.

The concession is for 30 years, with the possibility of an additional five years, which demonstrates Aena’s long-term commitment to Brazil.

The concession contract is scheduled to be signed in February 2023.

Synergies of the largest airport network in Brazil 

The awarding of the group of 11 airports is the largest international operation in Aena’s history, which, under the Northeast Brazil Airport Group, has wholly managed another six airports in the northeast of the country since 2020. Aena also has a presence in the United Kingdom, where it manages 51% of London Luton Airport, and in Mexico, Colombia and Jamaica. As such, Aena consolidates its leadership in global airport management.

Aena has now become the manager of Brazil’s largest concession airport network. The Spanish airport manager thus highlighted the importance of the network model in which it has a great deal of experience, that is, managing many different types of airports, from international hubs to regional airports, and even island airports or airports for general aviation only. The successful network model attracts synergies in various areas and, therefore, creates managerial and operational efficiency. For example, in the case of Brazil, during the start-up of operations, the initial phase can be optimised; and in the area of technology, airport management developments can be adapted.

The Northeast Brazil Airport Group already has an established team that has overcome the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. It is immersed in an ambitious investment plan and is working to enhance the connectivity of the six infrastructures in the northeast region.

Aena is therefore aware of the particularities of the Brazilian market; it has managerial experience in the country and is known by local stakeholders. 

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