Massport to invest $1B in air- and seaport expansion

The Massachusetts Port Authority is planning to issue more than $1 billion in new debt over the coming years as it embarks on a series of projects designed to accommodate more passenger flights, larger cruise ships, and larger container vessels in Boston.

Speaking this week to a conference of investors who could buy some of the agency’s debt, acting MassPort CEO John Pranckevicius touted some of the projects planned for Logan International Airport, Conley Container Terminal in South Boston, and the Ray Flynn Cruiseport as boons to the local economy and products of the economy’s recent success.

At Logan, a roughly $750 million project will include an expansion of the international terminal and the reconfiguration of other terminals and gates, and a $250 million project seeks to redesign the roadways that service the busiest terminals.

«We have a workforce that has a tendency to do a lot of travel,» Pranckevicius said, also pointing out the state’s low unemployment rate and high income levels. «That economic stimulus generated from the policies here in Massachusetts are driving a lot of the airlines to add more service.»

The expansions come while Logan prepares for some of its largest carriers – JetBlue, Delta, Southwest, and United – to increase the number of their daily flights to or from Boston.

Pranckevicious said Logan is on pace to serve 40.8 million passengers in 2018. In the next seven to 10 years, he said, Logan’s annual passenger count is expected to jump to 50 million.

«We have a robust economy driving strong demand for air travel to and from Boston and from that demand, our airline business partners are seeing strong returns on their investments at Boston,» Dan Gallagher, MassPort’s director of aviation business and finance, said.

Source: The Hull Times

Government owned 85 percent Airports are facing losses in India

Even though the increasing number of passenger airlines is making new records every month in the country, the Govt. owned airports are not getting much benefit from it. According to data received from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, 92 out of 107 active airports owned & operated by the Airports Authority of India are in the deficit. Only 15 airports which are situated in the major cities are in profits. It is a matter of relief for the government that the profits earned by these 15 airports are more than the total losses of the remaining 92 airports.

There are a total of 126 airports in the country. Out of these, three airports in Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad are operated under private-public partnership. The Airports Authority of India operates the remaining 123 airports. Out of these, 15 airports including Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow are among those who are making profits. The remaining 92 airports in Indore, Bhopal, Mangaluru, and Raipur are running in very deficit. The highest profits are from Chennai Airport, which made profits of Rs 455.4 crore in the year 2017-18.

However, this profit is less than 25 percent from the last year’s profit of Rs 605.2 crore. Kolkata airport is in the second rank in terms of earning profits. This airport has earned Rs 411.1 crore in the last financial year. The Mangalore airport is facing the biggest loss with Rs.74 crores in the last financial year. The Safdarjung airport of Delhi is in second place with a loss of Rs.71 crores.

Emphasis on increasing passenger numbers

The current Government which came into power in the year 2014, has given special emphasis on increasing the number of passengers. Among these efforts, the country’s most promising was UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme. This has led to the launch of airlines in smaller cities. Due to these efforts of the government, the numbers of domestic airlines increased from 7 crore (in the year 2014-15) to 11.7 crore in 2017-18. The central government has recently approved the proposal of leasing out of six airports including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram, and Mangaluru to operate under PPP mode.

Source: Urban Transport News

Entebbe airport expansion works going according to plan – Aviation Authority

The first phase of expansion works at Entebbe International Airport is on The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) board chairman, Mr Edward Mike Ndawula, said the works have reached 45 percent completion.

“We have quite a number of projects on the expansion of the airport and we are on schedule, the first phase of the expansion will be complete in May 2021,” he said.

Mr Ndawula made the remarks after taking the journalists on a tour of the ongoing works at the departure, and arrival terminals, fuel farm, runways, cargo area and taxiways.

“As the first phase gets complete the 12-30 runway at the old airport will not have lights in the first phase because aeroplanes that are only in class c (160 passenger carriers) will be landing here during daytime. The electricity poles will be erected in the second phase of the expansion,” he said.

Mr Ndawula said there is an institutionalized progress committee meeting that looks at the projects that are ongoing every month to ensure works are completed on time.

The supervising consultant of the expansion works, Mr Mark Donald of Dar Al – Handasah Shair & Partners, said the 12:30 runway at the old Entebbe airport will be available for daytime operations for small planes as works on the main runway at the new airport commence.

“We think our windows on the main runway will be between 6 o’clock in the morning and 12 noon every day and during that period the aeroplanes coming could land on this runway as long as it’s a small aircraft,” he said.

He said they will have to limit work on the main runway at one o’clock to allow bigger aircrafts come in and land on the runway.

The upgrade and expansion works for Entebbe International Airport are set to be carried out in three phases through to 2034.

The first phase’s groundbreaking ceremony was held in August 2015, while the construction of the new cargo building began in May 2016.

CAA received approval from the Parliament of Uganda to secure $200m of loan from the Export-Import Bank of China for phase one of the project in July 2015.

The second phase of works will be carried out from 2019 to 2023 at an estimated cost of $120m, while the final phase will begin in 2024 and conclude in 2034 via an investment of roughly $160m.

Source: PML Daily

Wider choice of food for passengers: new pizzerias to open at Vilnius Airport

In the very near future the passengers of Vilnius Airport will have more options while spending their free time before departure. New-concept “Charlie Pizza” pizzerias will open in the extended commercial area of the air gateways of the capital at the beginning of next year. After their opening, 11 catering outlets offering different varieties of food will be operating at the airport, a Lithuanian Airports press release states.

The substantially reconstructed and extended commercial zone of the main air gates of the country allows increasing the variety of food available to the passenger at the airport. In October Vilnius Airport launched a tender for giving premises on lease and its winner was obliged to open two pizzerias in the main air gateways in the capital. UAB «Burokėlis ir krapas» operating the network of pizza «Jurgis ir drakonas» and UAB «Amber Food» operating the network of pizza «Charlie Pizza» took part in the tender. Both bidders met all the qualification requirements and «Amber Food» which offered the best commercial conditions, won the bid. The contract for the leasing premises was concluded for the period of 5 years.

«Our goal is to turn Vilnius airport into a place, where it is possible to pleasantly relax and have good time both before the flight or while waiting for arriving relatives. Moreover, a tendency has been observed among passengers in airports all over the world to spend more and more time in the cafes and restaurants. With this in mind, we are broadening the food variety and have called for a tender to open modern pizzerias,» says Justinas Stepšys, the Director of Commercial Department of Lithuanian Airports. «The main goal of our pizzerias is to provide passengers with their favourite and popular pizzas. The pizzerias target is the departing passengers who are most frequently short of time. For this reason, «grab and go» food will be available for time sensitive passengers. We are also planning to offer new tastes to our passengers and are currently working towards that adopting new technologies,» says Gediminas Balnis, Director of «Amber Food».

According to the head of «Amber Food», attempts are made to create cosy and convenient environment in pizzerias, which is also tailored to the passengers, who work on computers or use smart gadgets before their flights. The new pizza places will be designed to be convenient both for larger groups or single passengers. A special zone for little travellers is also foreseen. The pizzeria by Gate A8 in the non-Schengen departure lounge is expected to welcome passengers as early as February. The second pizzeria «Charlie Pizza» will open between Gates A11 and A14 in the reconstructed Schengen departure lounge in March. Currently 9 catering establishments offering a variety of food are operating at Vilnius airport. These include restaurants that serve hot locally-made meals, bakery shops, a fresh sandwich bar, beer bars and cafes

Source: Delphi. Lithuania Tribune