Aboitiz entry into MCIA: 'Integration now in works'

ABOITIZINFRA Capital (AIC) is currently working on its seamless integration into the operations of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) as it eyes its eventual takeover in 2024.

MCIA, the second busiest airport in the country, is currently being jointly managed by AIC and GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC).

“We are going to be jointly managing and operating MCIA once we close this deal, and we are looking at closing this deal by end of this year. Right now, we are working on the integration. We are being helped by our advisors to understand the current operating standard operating procedures within MCIA and we are preparing for the integration for the entry of AIC into GMCAC,” said Cosette Canilao, president and chief executive officer of AIC, during Aboitiz Equity Ventures’ third quarter media briefing.

AIC recently entered into a landmark deal with Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Airports International, B.V. (GAIBV) for Aboitiz company to acquire all their shares in GMCAC, the developer and operator of MCIA, for P25 billion.

AIC will pay P9.5 billion to own an initial 33.3 percent minus one share in GMCAC.

Canilao added that the company wants to leverage or add value to the airport’s operation and bring the strength of the group to MCIA like in power, water services and its expertise in operating commercial centers.

“Our goal is to propel MCIA to the next level and establish its status as one of the Philippines’ premier international airports. With the help of data science and artificial intelligence expertise provided by Aboitiz Data Innovation, we aim to tech up and further improve the airport’s operations by using big data to continuously find ways to enhance passenger experience and in the process, help boost tourism in the country,” said Canilao.

Besides MCIA, AIC is also keen on developing, operating and managing other airports in the country that are up for privatization or public-private partnership.

“We currently have OPS (original proponent status) in Bicol, Laguindingan and Bohol airports and we are submitting additional requirements to the government to move forward with our OPS,” she said. “We want to build an airport platform and have the MCIA as the anchor asset. It would make sense for smaller airports to be part of that regional platform that we would like to build.” (KOC)