Mauritius Expanded Airport Terminal to Double Passenger Handling Capacity

Mauritius’ planned new airport terminal will double the handling capacity of passengers when it opens by the end of next year, the airport’s operating company said.

“Our target is to cater for 4 million passengers a year, from the current 2 million checking in and out,” Bruno Mazurkiewicz, chief executive officer of Airport Terminal Operations Ltd., said in an interview yesterday in Plaisance, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south-east of Port Louis, the capital.

The company took a loan from Export-Import Bank of China for 85 percent of the $305 million cost of the expansion, he said.

The Indian Ocean island nation is targeting 1 million foreign visitors this year compared with 934,827 in 2010, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority said on Jan. 26, with Air Mauritius Ltd., sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth largest airline, increasing seat availability by 6 percent to 1.85 million.

ATOL, as the company is known, is a joint venture between state-owned Airports of Mauritius Ltd. and Aeroports de Paris (ADP) Management, which holds a 10 percent stake, Mazurkiewicz said.

Tourism is one of Mauritius’s main sources of foreign currency, with revenue expected to rise by 7.7 percent to 42.5 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) in 2011, according to the Central Statistics Office. The biggest leisure groups by market value are New Mauritius Hotels Ltd. (NMH), Sun Resorts Ltd., and Naiade Resorts Ltd. (NRL)

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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