Insight in Airport Privatisation
Airports can be some of the most complex and dynamic infrastructure investments out there. Pre-pandemic, a staggering 4.5 billion passengers boarded flights in 2019, while air cargo that year weighed in at a whopping 57.6 million tonnes. They are the places that connect organisations, families and individuals in our globalised economy and serve as part of the backbone of the global supply chain.
Much like those in the cockpits and air traffic control towers, those in charge of these key logistical hubs must possess highly specialised expertise and knowledge, as running smooth passenger and particularly cargo operations are essential for a profitable operation.
Getting a proposal to privatise small and medium-sized cargo and passenger airports off to a flying start is therefore a huge undertaking. Understanding the entire value chain is crucial, with everything from governance and financing to on-site operations and management concerns to be considered.
One Middle East private investment company, however, was intrigued by this opportunity. Working with a major consulting firm, they were considering setting up a separate multi-airport management company with a view to making a privatisation bid.
Hyphen found the experts to pilot through this exploratory journey.
Brought in to find a specialist group capable of giving the investment company a better understanding of what was involved, Hyphen launched an extensive expert search to find the ideal advisors.
Several high-profile and experienced candidates were shortlisted and contacted individually to assess their interest and fit. Taking care and identifying the right people for any task is a key priority for Hyphen and this was no exception, particularly when the stakes were so high. Several individuals were selected – two former CEOs and three others with extensive knowledge of airport management and operations – to provide the client with the required know-how.
Our group of aviation leaders was ready to help the investment company’s plans take off.
The end client and the consulting firm approved our roster of experts, only for the former to decide not to pursue this particular investment opportunity – but our diligent work has had other benefits. Aviation is a highly relevant sector at present and having particularly smooth ground operations for cargo has become a cornerstone of many global airports. Some of the specialists put forward by Hyphen continue to support the consulting firm elsewhere, with their experience proving invaluable on similar projects around the world.
• The former CEO of an African airport business who managed two airports and is highly knowledgeable on airport management operations.
• An asset manager for an airport holding company with experience of mergers and acquisitions, concessions and strategic airport management.
• The aviation head for a transport consultancy firm with expertise concerning mergers and acquisitions.
• An operations manager for an airport business with detailed knowledge of day-to-day airport activities.