Hokkaido Airports Co takes full control of Hokkaido’s 7 airports

Premium Analysis

The process of privatising Japan's airports was slow to get going but has gained momentum since the first transactions in 2016. It is a huge process with, in theory at least, around 100 airports potentially to be part of the process and about 10 deals competed so far.

The one for the seven Hokkaido airports, which was finalised, on time, in Mar-2021 with the handover of the final five of them, is the most significant of all, because it involves multiple assets and facilities of different sizes. Now the consortium can get on with the job that it has pledged to do, and which includes increasing passenger numbers almost tenfold and spending billions of dollars.

Meanwhile, the government and the designated Ministry can feel confident that they can now attract both domestic financiers and, where needed, foreign operators and investors to the remainder of the ambitious privatisation programme.

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