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San Miguel-led consortium wins bid to operate NAIA

By NICK GARCIA Published Feb 16, 2024 12:41 pm Updated Feb 16, 2024 12:43 pm

The consortium led by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is the new operator of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), with the aim to rehabilitate the country’s main gateway.

“This winning bid… required a lot of hardwork from the technical working group of [Department of Transportation] and [Manila International Airport Authority], with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank as our transaction adviser,” said DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista in a press briefing on Friday, Feb. 16.

The consortium, which includes SMC and Incheon Airport of South Korea, will be taking over MIAA’s role for the next 15 years. The contract may also be extended up to 10 more years.

Bautista during the briefing said they’ll sign the concession agreement within the next 30 days. Once that happens, the consortium must pay P30 billion upfront and would pay another P2 billion over the year.

“There also a deal for the winning bidder to arrange all the financing [on the] takeover, considering there are employees of NAIA who will join them and employees of NAIA who will remain with the MIAA as a regulator,” Bautista said. He assured the public that no employee would be laid off.

The DOTr secretary noted it would take three to six months, but vowed to try their best to expedite the process.

The consortium is also set to share 82.16% of its gross revenue with the government. Passengers are expected to pay more for airfare.

MIAA acting general manager Jose Ines assured the public that a thorough study was conducted. "Di naman gaano kalaki," Ines said of the expected increase. "Cinoconsider natin ang inflation."

SMC president and chief executive officer Ramon Ang previously said they aim to “elevate NAIA to world-class standard, ensuring an exceptional experience for all travelers with first-rate services and facilities.”

SMC also operates Bulacan International Airport.

International vacation rental company Casago ranked NAIA as the eighth worst airport in Asia in terms of queueing times in August.

The following month, NAIA rose in ranking at travel data platform OAG’s 2023 Megahub Index as one of the most internationally connected airports.