Singapore Airport, RDIF buy Vladivostok hub

Changi Airports International and Russian group Basic Element are already part of a consortium that manages 7% of the country’s passenger traffic.

A group comprising the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Singapore’s Changi Airports International and Basic Element have agreed to acquire Vladivostok Airport from Sheremetyevo International Airport, one of Moscow’s three hubs.

Once granted regulatory approval, the consortium will own 100 percent of JSC Terminal Vladivostok, the entity that owns and operates the terminal building, and 52.16 percent of JSC International Airport Vladivostok, which holds the airport license. The three partners each own 33.3 percent of the group.

It is not the first instance of collaboration between Singapore Airport and Basic Element, a domestic conglomerate run by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

In 2007, the latter created Basel Aero, a subsidiary to manage its airports assets. Five years later, Basic Element opened up the company’s capital to third parties, following which Basel Aero became a joint venture between Basic Element, CAI and local lender Sberbank.

The tie-up now runs airports in the regions of Krasnodar, Sochi, Gelendzhik and Anapa that account for about 7 percent of Russia’s total passenger flow, according to Basel Aero. Traffic at the hubs it controls reached 8.6 million passengers in 2015.

“Vladivostok International Airport is strategically located at the crossing of air routes between Russia’s Far East and Asia-Pacific. With its geographical advantage and the Open Skies policy introduced in 2011, the airport will be positioned as a major air hub for domestic and international traffic,” the co-investors said.

The airport currently has capacity to handle about 3.5 million passengers a year.