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Nantes Airport concession tender deadline is set for 29-Mar-2024; VINCI still leads the pack

Premium Analysis

A new airport for one of France’s leading cities, Nantes, was first mooted 40 years ago.

A few years back, work was finally under way, but it was halted by a popular revolt, led by local farmers. That left the city with an old airport running at capacity and being managed by a French company, VINCI, whose concession there was tied to the construction of a new one.

Hence, a new concession was required, but a previous attempt at negotiating one fizzled out owing to ‘lack of interest’.

With air travel on the mend since the COVID-19 pandemic, this seems a good time to hold the tender again, and VINCI, if it is bidding, is probably the favourite.

Other French firms seem to have sidelined the sector, and there was a backlash against foreign ones in the wake of the regional airports concessions that took place in the latter part of the previous decade.

Whoever wins faces the prospect of commitment to a rebuilding programme to bring the facility up to scratch.

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