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In the wake of a first loan granted in 2012, Proparco has renewed its commitment to Aeria – which holds the concession to operate Abidjan’s Felix Houphouët-Boigny Airport – with a second loan of €13 million repayable over 11 years.

The first loan went towards expanding and upgrading the airport while the new loan will be used to expand the airport’s capacity in a context of constantly increasing passenger numbers.

Over 2 million passengers a year by 2021

Since the end of the political crisis in 2011, passenger traffic through Abidjan’s Felix Houphouët-Boigny Airport has been growing by almost 16 % a year, making it the third largest in West Africa - with 1.8 million passengers in 2016 - and the only airport in the region that is able to handle the Airbus A380. However, some of its infrastructure has become too small and the airport is completely saturated at peak periods.

In order to reduce bottlenecks and increase passenger handling facilities, Aeria is launching a €63 million investment programme in partnership with the Ivorian Government. It will mainly be used to build 10 parking stands for short- and medium-haul aircraft, expand parking facilities for long-haul aircraft and build a parallel taxiway to boost aircraft handling capacity by a factor of three at peak periods. This programme also covers the first phase in the extension of the airport terminal building.

As Emmanuelle Matz, Head of Proparco’s Energy and Infrastructure division explains, “Proparco is fulfilling its market support role to the full here by providing long-term finance, something that local commercial banks did not have the resources to do.”

This project is also being partnered by the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and the BICICI (Banque internationale pour le commerce et l'industrie de la Côte d'Ivoire).

Partnering the Ivorian economic recovery 

By facilitating the circulation of people, capital and goods, the air transport sector plays a vital role in growing a country’s trade, tourism and international investment. 2 

Developing Abidjan Airport will generate major socio-economic benefits and the project should help create or maintain 3,700 jobs in Côte d’Ivoire. Thanks to the extra salaries, profits generated and taxes and other levies collected by the State, Aeria’s activity should also add €205 million to GDP by 2021 3 .

Proparco will also use this new loan facility to continue helping Aeria to improve its CSR risk management.

Emmanuelle Matz adds that, “by helping Côte d’Ivoire to build an airport infrastructure that meets top-quality safety and security standards, Proparco is supporting its international growth and development”.