ACCIONA has signed a handling services contract with Aerolíneas Argentinas covering all the airline's operations at Santiago de Chile airport. The agreement enhances ACCIONA's ambition for Chile to become a strategic market for expansion in the airport business.
ACCIONA Service, through its subsidiary ACCIONA Airport Services, will provide ramp handling (loading, unloading and aircraft servicing), passenger handling (check-in and embarking); operations (coordination while the aircraft is on the ground and management of cargo instructions); and ticketing.
Aerolíneas Argentinas is currently the fourth-largest airline operating at Santiago de Chile airport, with close to 2,000 flights per year to and from three airports in Argentina: Ezeiza and Aeroparque, both in Buenos Aires, and Córdoba. As a result, Aerolíneas Argentinas, like LATAM, is now a strategic client in ACCIONA's plans to expand in the Latin American handling market.
ACCIONA started providing passenger handling services at Santiago de Chile airport in December 2016 and, during 2017, it expanded to full handling services (passengers + ramp) in Santiago and at Antofagasta, La Serena, Concepción, Calama and Copiapó airports. In July 2017, ACCIONA was chosen as airline JetSMART's exclusive handling agent at Chile's main airports.
In October, ACCIONA stepped up its growth plan in Chile by acquiring the LATAM group's ramp handling business in Santiago de Chile airport, operated through company Andes Airport Services. In January 2018, the Chilean competition authorities gave the green light to this deal, under which ACCIONA acquired the assets of Andes Airport Services and a long-term contract to provide ramp handling services to LATAM at Santiago airport, assuring continuity of the close to 1,000 employees.
ACCIONA has more than 20 years' experience in providing handling services to third parties and has a client portfolio of more than 100 airlines. It provides handling services at such airports as Düsseldorf, Palma de Mallorca, Madrid, Barcelona and Gran Canaria, and plans to expand its footprint in Europe, a market where it is considering a number of opportunities.
The handling business is part of ACCIONA's Infrastructure division, which has been operating in Chile since 1993. Through this division, ACCIONA has built major projects in the area of roads, hospitals, hydroelectric plants and mining infrastructure. In addition to its recent entry into the handling business, it also provides freight forwarding services. ACCIONA also designed, built and operates a large desalination plant for the mining industry in Copiapó and has built wastewater treatment facilities in Valdivia, Osorno, La Ligua and Temuco.
ACCIONA Energy is one of the main renewable energy operators in Chile, where it has built and operates the largest photovoltaic plant in Latin America, El Romero, with peak capacity of 246 MW, and also has the Punta Palmeras 45 MW wind farm in the Coquimbo region. In the two most recent auctions, the company was awarded contracts to supply a total of 1,116 GWh of electricity, and it is currently building the 183 MW San Gabriel wind farm in the Araucanía region.