Colombia , Argentina , Ecuador , Chile , Brazil and Peru
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Corporación América bets on LatAm air traffic growth

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Argentine conglomerate Corporación América, the world's largest airport operator, aims to expand in Latin America, betting on the region's solid air traffic growth.

Domestic and international air traffic jumped 15.8% in Colombia, 12% in Peru and 8.4% in Chile in 2013, well above global averages. However, air traffic only inched up 1.6% in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy and biggest air transport market.

Still, the passenger per capita ratio (the number of passengers compared to the size of the population) is still low in Latin America compared to developed economies. It stands at 2.3 in the US, 1.8 in the UK and 1.4 in Germany. In Latin America, the ratio is at 1 in Chile, 0.6 in Argentina and Colombia, and 0.5 in Brazil and Peru.

"You realize the gap between Latin America and developed countries is huge. I think there's a good growth formula and we're betting on that growth," Corporación América director Martín Eurnekián told BNamericas.

"We believe in long-term trends ... We try to look at development capabilities," he added.

Currently, in the region the company operates airports in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay and Ecuador. However, it is planning to bid in tenders to expand and operate Peru's Cusco, Colombia's Barranquilla and Chile's Santiago airports.

If Corporación América wins Santiago's Arturo Merino Benitez airport tender, it could try to expand and operate other terminals in Chile, Eurnekián said.

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