The Vinci group at the control stick of a second airport in Lisbon

The Portuguese subsidiary is building a new infrastructure and is extending the current threat of saturation in the light of traffic that has doubled in 6 years. Vinci is increasingly developing airport activities in preparation for the end of the motorway concessions.

For the time being, only a few hundred soldiers occupy the military base of Montijo, about thirty kilometers from Lisbon. At the base of the base, olive trees and umbrella pines, as far as the eye can see, you see the road leading to gigantic sheds, near the track where some military aircraft are stationed. A few tens of meters quiet and it is the Tagus, the river that borders the Portuguese capital.

By 2023, millions of passengers are expected to come out of the new infrastructure: a second airport for Lisbon that will be built and operated by Ana, a subsidiary of Vinci. The French group acquired this subsidiary of the Portuguese government for just over 3 billion euros in 2013. It manages the 10 most important commercial airports in the country, including the current Humberto Delgado airport in Lisbon. It is still the most important French investment in the country.

On Tuesday, January 8, Vinci's leaders signed a financial agreement with the Portuguese government to both build the airport and expand the existing infrastructure that is threatened with saturation. Ana will invest around 1.1 billion euros over the next twelve years, including 500 million for Montijo airport. The operator also contributes 156 million euros to compensate the air force and to contribute to the development of access.

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Traffic that doubled in 6 years

In 2012, the annual traffic at Lisbon Airport reached 15 million passengers and has since almost doubled. It should be 30 million this year. " The city's tourist success is for many Said Nicolas Notebaert, General Manager of Vinci Concessions and President of Vinci Airports, and TAP, the Portuguese national company, the main user of Humberto Delgado, has developed the hub for Latin America and Brazil in particular.

The growth was much faster than expected, Vinci expected a rise in a decade. The contract provided for discussions on a second infrastructure once this figure had been reached. The two terminals together can handle up to 72 aircraft movements per hour, compared with only 40 at the moment. Enough to double traffic by the end of the concession around 2062.

For the Portuguese government, tourism is crucial to support the economy, and airports are crucial to support tourism. " 90% of people arriving in Portugal arrive by plane "The government says Tourism accounts for 10% of Portugal's GDP (compared with just over 7% for France), while the country welcomed nearly 25 million people last year and cashed around 15 billion euros in tourist revenues.

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The end of the highways

The year starts well for Vinci Airports … because it ended well with the announcement of control over Gatwick Airport in London. The French group Airports now has 46 airports around the world and 228 million passengers. He intends to continue in this direction, according to experts, air traffic is expected to increase much faster than economic growth in the coming years.

" For years we have said the same thing: the French motorways are coming to an end Xavier Huillard, CEO of Vinci, who talks about the 2030s, said that it is therefore crucial to develop activities that will eventually replace the revenues from the motorway concessions, now about 6 billion euros. euro when the turnover of airports is less than 2 billion euros.

In the view of the group, of course, there are the Paris airports (ADP): Roissy and Orly. The state has indicated that it wants to sell its shares that amount to almost 51%. But he did not decide whether he would sell his capital in one block or in several lots. " To bring value to all stakeholders, we must at least have the prospect of having control, "insisted Xavier Huillard according to which Vinci does not have calling to be a mere financial investor ".

Michel Waintrop (in Lisbon)