Zurich Airport International declining new investments for now
For some time developing countries have looked to established airport operators, mainly in Europe but also in Asia and Latin America, for technical assistance, management expertise and funding to enhance their airports. Those operators have been happy to oblige, not only for the sake of ‘status’ and ‘bragging rights’ but mainly because air travel was growing so quickly that a healthy return on investment was almost guaranteed.
COVID-19 has put paid to that, and Nepal is one of the first countries to learn that the good old days are over: Zurich Airport, to which it offered the deal for the development and operation of the new Nijgadh International Airport, will not be going ahead with it, preferring to concentrate on existing airports and to eschew any new investments for some time into the future.
The question is, is this a one-off situation, or can all developing countries now expect to find themselves in the same boat?
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