The airport industry briefing
The latest news, views and numbers you need to know this month
News in Numbers
Airports Council International Europe has welcomed the European Commission’s decision to set the slot-use threshold at 50% for the upcoming winter 2021 season, calling it ‘pragmatic and proportionate’.
Sydney Airport in Australia has rejected a $16.5bn buyout bid from a consortium of investors, as it seeks higher bids for the asset.
An Antonov An-26 twin-engined turboprop reportedly crashed in the far east of Russia, killing all 28 people on board, including crew members.
The European Investment Bank and special purpose vehicle SOF Connect AD have reached a €40m loan agreement to upgrade Sofia International Airport in Bulgaria.
The European Commission has approved an €800m Italian scheme to compensate airports and ground-handling operators hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
AUH cancels contract for main terminal
The state-owned operator of Abu Dhabi International Airport has reportedly cancelled a $2.94bn contract that involved building the main terminal at the airport after the project costs exceeded the budget, according to Reuters.
Funding for LAX terminal upgrades approved
The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has sanctioned the allocation of over $1bn to fund the final and largest construction phase for the modernisation of Los Angeles International Airport’s Terminals 4 and 5.
LUX begins runway overhaul project
The SOMO Findel Airport Consortium has commenced the runway refurbishment project at Luxembourg Airport (LUX). As part of the €150m project, the airport’s sole runway will be renovated entirely.
Construction starts on LAX Terminal 6 overhaul
Construction work has commenced on a $230m refurbishment project for the Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 6 in the US. As part of the project, the gate areas and the lounges will undergo a complete revamp and passenger boarding bridges will be replaced.
Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee welcomes the exemption of fully vaccinated passengers entering the UK from the USA and amber list countries in the EU from quarantine:
“This is a significant and welcome step forward that will be a boost to airports, our inbound visitor economy and the many families who will be able to reunite after a long and difficult period.
“However, there remain considerable challenges for our airports and aviation sector and our road to recovery remains long. We urge the Government to work with industry to continue opening up travel by putting more countries on the green list, reduce the cost of testing and provide the much-needed financial support for the difficult months ahead.
"Our airports continue to be hit by the impacts of the pandemic and held back by an overly cautious approach to international travel. Without sector specific financial support our national recovery will be stalled and thousands of jobs put at risk.”
The International Air Transport Association's director general, Willie Walsh, slams the European Commission’s decision to set the winter slot use threshold at 50%:
“Once again the Commission has shown they are out of touch with reality. The airline industry is still facing the worst crisis in its history. The Commission had an open goal to use the slots regulation to promote a sustainable recovery for airlines, but they missed.
"Instead, they have shown contempt for the industry, and for the many member states that repeatedly urged a more flexible solution, by stubbornly pursuing a policy that is contrary to all the evidence presented to them.
"There is a rich irony that only a week after the Commission released its ‘Fit for 55’ carbon emissions plan, it publishes a slots regulation that may force airlines to fly regardless of whether sufficient demand for that route exists.
Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Valean said ‘We need to act with ambition for our planet, but without punishing our citizens or businesses.’ Clearly, this decision on slots fails to meet these conditions"