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Incheon Airport Corporation seeks to acquire operating rights of JFK airport

Incheon Airport Corporation seeks to acquire operating rights of JFK airport

Posted December. 08, 2017 09:07,   

Updated December. 08, 2017 09:40


Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) is seeking to acquire the operating rights of John F. Kennedy International Airport, the biggest international gateway to the United States. It is a 3 billion-dollar project where the successful bidder renovates the Terminal 1 of the airport and operates it for the next 30 years. If IIAC wins the bid, it would provide other domestic companies as well as the corporation with opportunities to branch out to new markets based on the experience of operating one of the biggest airports in the world.

According to an industry source Thursday, the IIAC recently submitted its proposal for the “John F. Kennedy Airport Renovation Project” run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “JFK airport asked for our participation on the bid slated for early next year. We decided to take part in the bid after an internal review,” an official from the corporation said.

John F. Kennedy airport is one of the biggest airports in the United States, which opened in 1948 and serves 600 million passengers annually. But its old facilities and separately-run terminals led to poor services for passengers. This is why a 10 billion-dollar renovation project has been established to improve and renovate all of the six terminals at the airport. The airport reportedly will select different operators for each terminal.

The IIAC is projected to bid for a 3 billion-dollar project for the renovation and operation of Terminal 1. Terminal 1 is currently operated by a joint venture among Korean Air, Japan Airlines, Air France and Lufthansa and serves 7.3 million passengers a year.

The IIAC reportedly received positive reviews from the JFK airport on the basis of its sound financial structure and winning of the Airport Service Quality Awards for 12 consecutive years. The Corporation has consistently carried out overseas business since it signed a consultancy agreement with the Erbil International Airport in Iraq in 2009. It also participated in the bid for the operation of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, the biggest airport in Serbia, for 25 years and is now waiting for the result.

Meanwhile, there is a possibility of Korea's biggest institutional investor National Pension Service (NPS) taking part in the JFK airport renovation project due to its low-risk and high-profitability nature.

Im-Soo Jeong imsoo@donga.com