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Airport half-year revenue doubles to $12b

T he two largest international airports in Kingston and Montego Bay generated about US$82 million in revenue – the equivalent of $12.5 billion in local curreny – over the six months ending June, which was double the flows in 2021, according to the financials of the Mexican owners, Grupo Aeroportuario Pacifico, which translates to Pacific Airport Group, or GAP.

Increased travel continues to feed revenue at the airports, but they are still in recovery mode from steep fallout in business during the pandemic.

GAP said passenger traffic for the April-June quarter increased relative to 2021 as well as the prepandemic period in 2019, saying it continues “to demonstrate a positive trend, due to the recovery of the tourism and business segments”.

The company operates 14 airports — 12 in Mexico, as well as Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, through subsidiaries MBJ Airports Limited and PAC Kingston Airport Limited or PACKAL, respectively.

During the period, there was additional airlift into Jamaica, including Frontier Airlines, which added three new routes to Kingston from Miami and two routes to Montego Bay from Tampa in Florida; Spirit Airlines, which added three routes to Montego Bay from Philadelphia; and American Airlines, which added a flight to Montego Bay from Austin, Texas.

The management of MBJ Airports did not immediately respond to Financial Gleaner queries about the 2022 outlook.

The airports’ revenues include income from aeronautical services, such as airline landing fees and non-aeronautical services, including food concession and parking fees.

The airports in Jamaica are dependent on international travel, while GAP’s Mexican airports rely mainly on domestic travel.

Sangster International, which is Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s largest airport, generated 1.16 billion Mexican pesos, or US$57.5 million, over six months, compared to 576.4 million pesos, or US$28.4 million, a year earlier.

GAP noted however that the total passenger numbers over six months in 2022 were 17 per cent lower than 2019’s record levels.

Norman Manley generated 497.78 million pesos over six months, or US$24.5 million, compared to 261.4 million pesos, or US$12.9 million, in the first six-months of 2021. Increased passenger numbers are also attributed to the higher revenue in Kingston.

From a core earning perspective, the Montego Bay airport generated 801.3 million pesos, or US$35.9 million, in EBITA, or earnings before interest, tax and amortisation, compared to 316 million pesos, or US$15.6 million, in 2021.

GAP consolidates the earnings of its smaller airports into the group results, including Norman Manley International, and as such its EBITDA performance was not disclosed.

At Sangster International, total passengers increased 117 per cent to 2.09 million in 2022, compared to 961,000 in 2021, but was down 17 per cent from 2.5 million in 2019, the parent company reported. In Kingston, passenger numbers increased by 110 per cent to 630,000 in 2022, compared to 299,500 in 2021. There was no comparative data for 2019 due to the timeline of its acqusition by GAP.

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