French-led group top bidder for new Chilean airport terminal
SANTIAGO Feb 4 (Reuters) - A consortium led by France's Aeroports de Paris is the top bidder for a concession to run Santiago's international airport for the next 20 years and build a new terminal, as the Chilean capital seeks to become a hub for pan-Pacific traffic.
The Nueva Pudahuel consortium was selected as the preferred bidder among five competing groups on Wednesday, the Chilean Public Works Ministry said.
The consortium consists of Aeroports de Paris, which runs Paris' Charles de Gaulle, France's Vinci Airports , and Italy's Astaldi. The preferred bidder classification means its bid was the most competitive but the decision must still be revised by the government.
The bid offered 77.6 percent of revenues to the government and would see over $900 million investment in the first four years of the contract to build a new international terminal that will more than double passenger capacity, Astaldi said in a statement.
The consortium did not give details of likely future revenues or income from the concession, which is due to begin in October 2015.
The Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport opened in 1967 and has been run since 1997 by a consortium formed by Chilean, Spanish and Canadian companies.
It currently has a single terminal building divided into international and domestic, which over 16 million passengers passed through in 2014. That is about half the passenger traffic registered last year at South America's main hub, Sao Paulo's Guarulhos in Brazil.
But with traffic growing at around 10 percent a year, the Chilean government is keen to position Santiago as a Latin American entry point, in particular for growing cross-Pacific routes. The region's biggest airline is LATAM Airlines, headquartered in Santiago. (Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Tom Brown)
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