Vladivostok airport sold to international consortium

The new owners of Vladivostok International Airport intend to turn it into a key transport hub in the region Vladivostok airport enjoys the Open Skies policy introduced in 2011 (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo.com)

Consortium uniting Russia’s Basic Element industrial group, Russian Direct Investment Fund and Changi Airports International acquired Vladivostok’s Knevichi Airport located at the Russian Far East from Sheremetyevo International Airport. The new owners intend to turn Vladivostok’s airport into a “key transport hub in the region.”

The agreement was announced on November 25. The consortium acquires 100% of the share of Vladivostok Terminal, the company that built the new terminal A for the APEC-2012 summit, and 52.16% of shares of Vladivostok International Airport, which manages the terminal. Each of the consortium’s members will receive 33.3% in the project. The Russian authorities have granted an approval to CAI to purchase up to 49% of the airport’s shares. Other regulators are to study the deal and provide approvals before the transaction is closed.

Russian Direct Investment Fund’s general director Kirill Dmitriev revealed, that the consortium has already started working on expanding route network from Knevichi with particular emphasis on attracting new carriers from China. The airport is intended to become a strategic hub between Russia and Asia. The open sky regime currently in effect in Vladivostok, and the city’s free port status should pave way to development of cargo traffic.

Basic Element emphasized that the consortium will focus on expanding the route network, increasing frequencies and improving passenger experience. This industrial group has its own airport business called Basel Aero that manages several airports in Krasnodar region, in Southern Russia.

Vladivostok airport has geographical advantage as the crossing point of air routes between Russia’s Far East and the Asia-Pacific and enjoys the Open Skies policy introduced in 2011.

It took 17th position in the ranking of the Russian busiest airports by traffic in 2014 and 2015, down from 14th position in 2013. In 2015 its traffic volume was down 4.2% year-on-year to 1.698 million passengers. Knevichi reported the traffic had started to climb again in the first half of this year (+3.9%) when it handled 781,800 passengers.

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