French group Vinci buys Belfast International Airport
Passenger numbers hit 5.84m last year with 600,000 of those passengers coming from the Republic to travel from Belfast
Belfast International Airport, which is being sold, is the largest airport in Northern Ireland
The French group Vinci is to buy Belfast International Airport as part of a deal to acquire nine airports and three management contracts in the United States, Costa Rica, Northern Ireland and Sweden.
The financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this year, have not yet been disclosed but it will boost the French group’s global airport portfolio to 45 airports in 11 countries across three continents.
Belfast International Airport (BIA) is the largest airport in the North and last year overall passenger numbers jumped to 5.84 million with 600,000 of those passengers coming from the Republic to travel from Belfast.
Airport bosses said there had been “a significant increase” in the number of people resident in the Republic choosing to fly from the North thanks to the “competitive edge” that the euro has enjoyed over a weak pound.
BIA had previously been owned by Omers Infrastructure who had purchased the airport in 2013 from the Spanish organisation Abertis as part of a €284 deal for airport assets in Northern Ireland, Sweden and the US.
As well as a 100 per cent stake in the airport, Vinci will have a 90.1 per cent stake in Skavsta Airport in Sweden and various holdings in three airports under concession – Orlando-Sanford International Airport in Florida, Juan Santamaria International Airport in Costa Rica, and Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia.
It will also operate management contracts in Hollywood Burbank Airport, Ontario International Airport, Macon Downtown Airport and Middle Georgia Regional Airport. It will also run several partial management contracts in other US airports.
Vinci said the acquisition from Omers was likely to increase the number of passengers that used its airports by 25.6 million to more than 182 million a year.