France’s Vinci set to enter Japan with Osaka-Kansai airports concession

Expanding French airport operator Vinci is poised to enter Japan for the first time with a 44-year concession to run Osaka and Kansai international airports.

A consortium comprising Vinci Airports and financier Orix Corporation has been chosen as preferred negotiation right holder for the concession, with the consortium’s funding plan set at approximately €1.94bn, Vinci announced today.

Orix and Vinci will set-up a concessionaire company to work out a project agreement with the awarding body, New Kansai International Airport Company (NKIAC), by the end of 2015.

The concessionaire will be responsible for running Kansai International Airport, located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay (pictured) and Osaka International Airport.

Orix and Vinci will each have 40% shareholdings with local companies holding the remaining 20%.

They will take over the airports in April 2016.

Kansai, opened in 1994, serves both as international hub and domestic airport, with a traffic of 20 million passengers.

Osaka, often called Itami Airport and opened in 1939, is the primary domestic airport for Osaka city, with 14.6 million passengers.

Together handling 34.6 million passengers annually, Kansai and Osaka airports represent the second busiest airport group in Japan.

Growth in traffic last year of 7.4% reflects a healthy tourism sector, Vinci said, as well as progress for low-cost carriers, for which the Kansai International Airport is the main hub in the country.

Vinci said that with this new concession it enters the top five ranking of world airport operators, with 27 airports handling more than 100 million passengers annually.

Photograph: Kansai International Airport, located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, is a favourite for low-cost carriers (Wikimedia Commons)

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