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Brazil: Infraero’s role pruned again; key airports to be privatised

The role of Infraero, Brazil’s state-owned airport operator, has diminished repeatedly since the first Brazilian concessions began in 2011.

Once one of the largest airport operators in the world, with upwards of 200 million passengers a year, Infraero has undergone a waning of its influence for more than five years as a series of privatisation rounds has resulted in many of its most important airports being hived off under concessions.

Now, another round of concessions will result in it losing the only two airports on which it was making money, along with its navigational services: the last straw is a forthcoming round which will include the concession of São Paulo Congonhas Airport and Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport at the end of 2020.

The president of Infraero has described those airports as “the crown jewels… because they are the airports which give Infraero sustainability", and added that these airports bring in approximately 30% to 40% of Infraero's revenue.

It seems as if Infraero's future role will be to nurture small unprofitable airports before returning them to state governments; far less grand than the original plan the central government drew up for it.

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