Gokongweis confirm interest in 4 airports

Rappler.com
JG Summit said it is interested in vying for 4 airport projects that the government plans to bid out as part of its flagship infrastructure program

MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – The holding firm of the Gokongwei group affirmed its interest vying for 4 airport projects that the government plans to bid out as part of its flagship infrastructure program.

“We have to look at the terms of reference,” JG Summit Holdings Inc. president and CEO Lance Gokongwei told reporters on Tuesday, January 24. 

Gokongwei reiterated an earlier disclosure to the stock exchange that the group will bid for 4 airports under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program of the Aquino government. 

According to him, the 4 airport projects the group is interested in are in:

  • Puerto Princesa in Palawan (estimated at P4.6 billion)
  • Laguindingan in Cagayan de Oro (P8.7 billion)
  • Legaspi (P2.5 billion)
  • Mactan-Cebu (airport terminal expansion) (P2.5 billion)

“JG Summit is looking at all infra projects (under the PPP program). Our keen interest is on the airport side…it’s an area we are familiar with,” added Gokongwei.  

The Gokongwei group operates Cebu Pacific Air, the most aggressive local budget airline that now lords over the domestic market.

Open skies

These PPP projects should have been bidded out in 2011. The Aquino government said it will pursue these projects this year.

The Philippines has adopted an open skies policy that aims to improve international airline access to different parts of the country with high tourism and trade potentials.

The main gateway in Manila, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, has been exempted from the open skies policy since its runway is already congested.

Cebu Pacific’s domestic and international business dramatically soared after it took the risk of transferring and consolidating its Manila operations to the NAIA’s Terminal 3, a PPP project of the past governments that was mired in legal and structural issues.

Gokongwei has long expressed interest in vying for the right to operate NAIA-3, which can handle 13 million passengers a year.

Cebu Pacific flew almost 12 million passengers in 2011, and is targeting 14 million passengers this 2012.

Cebu Pacific also operates at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark in Pampanga, just 80-kilometer. On January 4, it broke ground for its $40 million flying school there. – Rappler.com