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Korea Airports Corporation close to signing a deal to operate airport in Ecuador

Korea Airports Corporation President Son Chang-wan (right) and Jose Gabriel Martinez Castro (left), Ecuador’s Transport Minister conducts a site survey for an airport in Manta, Ecuador, Monday local time. (KAC)
Korea Airports Corporation President Son Chang-wan (right) and Jose Gabriel Martinez Castro (left), Ecuador’s Transport Minister conducts a site survey for an airport in Manta, Ecuador, Monday local time. (KAC)
Korea Airports Corporation said Friday that it is close to signing a business deal with the Ecuadorian government to operate Manta Airport.

A negotiation team is currently visiting Ecuador for talks to finalize the deal, the corporation said.

The deal, which is estimated to be worth 40 billion won ($33.76 million), will see the corporation acquire a 100 percent stake and operate the airport until 2051.

A local corporation will be set up to manage and operate the airport’s facilities, including the passenger terminal and runway, and Korea Airports Corporation would have the right to all profit generated over the next 30 years.

If signed, it will mark the 15th airport to be operated by Korea Airports Corporation, which currently operates 14 airports across Korea, including Gimpo and Gimhae airports.

The talks began after former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon visited the South American country and proposed the project to the Ecuadorian government.

In April, Korea Airports Corporation announced that President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador had officially approved the executive order to delegate Manta Airport’s concession to Korea Airports Corporation.

Manta is the largest port city in Ecuador and is called the “tuna capital of the world.” It is close to the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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