Philippine conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc says the country’s government has turned down most suggestions made in the light of Covid-19, about a more economical way for a consortium of which Alliance Global is part, to upgrade Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The latter is the main air passenger hub serving Manila (pictured in a file photo).
Alliance Global is an investor in the Resorts World Manila casino complex next door to the airport in that nation’s capital.
Alliance Global said in a press statement filed on Tuesday to the Philippine Stock Exchange: “The far-reaching and long lasting consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on airline travel, airline operations and airport passenger traffic necessitated a review of the assumptions and plans to ensure that the NAIA project will be viable in the ‘new normal’.”
The group added: “The consortium proposed changes to update the NAIA project’s framework to ensure the bankability of the NAIA project.”
But the conglomerate further noted: “Unfortunately, the government indicated that it is not willing to accept most of the consortium’s proposed options and the consortium can only move forward with the NAIA project under the options it has proposed.”
A 2018 report by the Nomura banking group said that lack of fresh airport infrastructure was a factor holding back the growth of inbound tourism to the Philippines, adding that improvements could see a “bump-up in VIP business,” for the country’s casino sector.
Alliance Global noted in its press release that in February 2018 a consortium of which it is part had submitted an “unsolicited proposal” to the Philippine Department of Transportation and the Manila International Airport Authority to “expand, upgrade, and transform” Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Alliance Global said in its Tuesday announcement: “The consortium remains committed to support the government’s pursuit to implement its strategic infrastructure projects through public-private partnership to jump-start the recovery of the economy, including the building of an international gateway that will reflect the growing and modernising economy of the country.”
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Aggregate amount spent by digital media firm IAC to acquire a 12-percent stake in U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts