Brazil awarded three European groups on Thursday the rights to operate four airports, drawing nearly double the minimum bids at an auction that underscored investors' appetite for a new wave of privatizations under President Michel Temer. German airport operator Fraport AG, French group Vinci SA and Zurich Airport bid a combined 1.46 billion reais (US$470 million) for the rights to run airports in Porto Alegre, Salvador, Fortaleza and Florianopolis.
President Dilma Rousseff has “guaranteed” Brazil's airports will be prepared to welcome visitors for the World Cup, which starts on June 12 in São Paulo. Rousseff made the comments on her weekly ''Breakfast with the President'' national radio program following criticism that a number of airports which were promised to be completed for the key football tournament remain unfinished.
As if problems with the delayed stadiums was not enough, and with less than 10 weeks until the start of the World Cup, work on crucial new airport terminals has fallen behind in most of the dozen Brazilian host cities, heightening the risk of overcrowding and confusion during the tournament.
Airports in Rio and Belo Horizonte, two host cities of the 2014 World Cup, are to be privatized at an auction this week, Brazilian civil aviation authorities said this week. Press reports said five consortia, each with at least one foreign partner, are to take part in Friday's auction at the Sao Paulo stock exchange.
Delays are plaguing work at airports in seven of the 12 Brazilian cities that will host the World Cup nine months from now, the daily O Globo reported Sunday. Citing a survey by Infraero, the federal airports agency, the paper said the worst delay was in the southern city of Porto Alegre, where work on expanding terminal at a cost of 69 million dollars has not even begun.
Thousands of Brazilian airport workers went on strike on Wednesday to demand higher wages, although contingency plans kept flights running on time, according to state airport agency Infraero. The workers' union is pressing for a roughly 16% salary bump along with improved benefits such as childcare.