Chile's President Sebastian Piñera and Public Works Minister Loreto Silva launched (25-Jun-2013) Phase 1 of Santiago International Airport's renovation and expansion project. The first phase will increase airport capacity from nine million passengers p/a to 16 million passengers p/a by 2015, and involves the construction of new international and domestic departures areas, modification of the international and domestic arrivals areas, the installation of a new baggage handling system and an increased police presence. Works will cost USD60 million and will be complete in one year. Mr Silva said, "This project will solve the short term needs that this terminal has due to higher air passenger traffic, which in the last year increased by 17%. With these Phase 1 works, we will be able to expand Santiago Airport infrastructure in crucial sectors to deliver an adequate service more efficiently." As previously reported by CAPA, the tender for the new concession which includes the construction of a new terminal is reported to be attracting interest from 26 parties, and is expected to be launched in 2H2013. The airport's overall expansion will boost capacity to 29 million passengers p/a by 2030. [more - original PR - Spanish]
Chilean President launches Phase 1 of Santiago Airport renovation and expansion project
You may also be interested in the following articles...
LATAM Airlines Group records losses as balance sheet clean-up and fleet renewal continues
Latin American powerhouse LATAM Airlines Group recorded losses for 4Q2013 and FY2013 driven in part by continuing currency fluctuations in Brazil and other markets in Latin America.
Brazil’s currency devaluation has dogged LATAM for much the past year even as the company has taken steps to minimise its balance sheet exposure to the weak BRL, and by YE2013 it had reduced its risk by half compared to the year prior.
LATAM’s ongoing efforts to minimise risks posed by varying exchange rates and a fleet overhaul are creating some flux for the carrier throughout 2014; but the company assures it is meeting its overall synergy goals estimated by the merger of LAN and TAM, and remains committed to balance sheet improvement.
Chile’s rapid domestic airline growth continues but LAN’s dominance remains unchallenged
Growth in Chile’s domestic market slowed slightly in 2013 compared to previous years but was again in the double-digits at 14%. Traffic expansion on the country’s domestic routes remain among the fastest growing in Latin America as Chile’s economy has remained relatively stable during the last couple of years compared with more dramatic fluctuations within Mexico and Brazil.
The only legitimate challenger to LAN’s domineering position in Chile – Sky Airline – grew its positioning in the Chilean domestic market during 2013, and improved its load factor. But its loads remain well below the market average, which puts the privately-owned airline in a tough position to become a viable challenger for LAN.
The slowdown in Chile’s domestic growth in 2013 reflects the growing maturity of the market and the country’s relatively small domestic population of 18 million (versus 119 million in Mexico, 201 million in Brazil and 48 million in Colombia). Compared with other high-growth markets in Latin America, a larger number of Chile’s residents already travel by air, making it difficult to tap large numbers of first time flyers to stimulate the market.