A consortium led by Singapore’s Changi Airports International (CAI) has won a tender for all shares in Vladivostok International Airport. Apart from CAI, the consortium also includes
Basic Element and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
The RDIF, a 100% subsidiary of Vnesheconombank, is a U.S.$10 billion fund established to make equity investments into the Russian economy, while CAI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of airport
operator Changi Airport Group. Basic Element is one of Russia’s largest diversified industrial groups led by the Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska business interests. Each of them will hold an equal
share in the consortium.
Regulatory approval is still needed
Together with Changi Airports International and Russia’s Sberbank, Basic Element established Basel Aero to operate four airports in the south of Russia (Sochi, Anapa, Gelendzhik and Krasnodar).
In a statement, the consortium said that each member will hold an equal share in the consortium. The transaction will close after receiving regulatory approvals.
Vladivostok International Airport, located in Russia’s Far East, is "strategically important for the development of the air transportation system in the region due to its geographical location – the crossing of two air routes between the Russian Far East and the Asia Pacific region,” the statement added.
Bright future predicted
RDIF chief executive officer Kirill Dmitriev said: “With an Open Skies policy in place, this airport has the potential to become a key Russian hub within the Asia-Pacific transportation and logistics network. Over 400 million people live within two hours flight of Vladivostok. The transportation hub will promote economic development in the region at every level.”
Changi's chief executive officer Lim Liang Song noted: “Vladivostok is the biggest economy in the Far East of Russia and has been identified to be developed as Russia’s strategic gateway to economies in Asia Pacific. We see long-term potential in our investment and will work with all parties to develop the airport into an important aviation hub in the region.”
New cargo facility
In cooperation with Lufthansa Consulting, Russian company Air Catering-Vladivostok LLC in 2012 completed the construction of a new cargo facility at the airport with an annual throughput of 30,000 tonnes of mainly palletised cargo. The facility features an ULD handling and storage system developed by Netherlands-based SACO Airport Equipment, which was commissioned in April 2013 and now enables the airport to efficiently handle ULDs for import, export and domestic flights.
Nol van Fenema