Fraport reports FY 2016 financial results

Fraport AG has reported a successful 2016 business year (ending December 31), marked by a record financial result achieved despite challenging framework conditions for the aviation industry and slightly declining traffic at the Group´s Frankfurt Airport home base, the company said.

Group revenue declined by 0.5% year-on-year to EUR 2.59bn. Adjusting for changes in the scope of consolidation due to the sale of shares in Fraport Cargo Services (FCS) and the disposal of the Air-Transport IT Services subsidiary, Group revenue would have risen by EUR 46.2m or 1.8%. This resulting increase in revenue (on an adjusted basis) was stimulated in particular by the ongoing growth at the Group´s airports in Lima (Peru) and Varna and Burgas (Bulgaria), as well as at the Fraport USA subsidiary, and by revenue gained from property sales.

The Group´s operating profit or EBITDA advanced by 24.2%, reaching a new record high of EUR 1.05bn. This strong growth was supported by the compensation payment received for the Manila terminal project, which boosted EBITDA by EUR 198.8m. Fraport´s successful sale of a 10.5% share in Thalita Trading Ltd., the owner of the operating company of Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg (Russia), contributed another EUR 40.1m to EBITDA.

Adjusting for these effects and the creation of provisions for a personnel-restructuring program, the Group´s EBITDA would have remained on the previous year´s level of about EUR 853m. Although this adjusted EBITDA was curbed by previous year´s weaker traffic performance and a slowdown in FRA´s retail business, reflecting lower spending by passengers, the Group´s external business also had a compensating positive effect on EBITDA.

The Group result (net profit) increased by 34.8% to EUR 400.3m. Without the aforementioned effects and unscheduled depreciation and amortization, Fraport´s Group result would only have reached about EUR 296m. In contrast, operating cash flow declined by 10.6% to EUR 583.2m. Likewise, free cash flow contracted by 23.3% to EUR 301.7m, also due to ongoing construction of Frankfurt Airport´s future Terminal 3.

Traffic at the company´s Frankfurt Airport (FRA) home-base slightly declined by 0.4% to approximately 61 million passengers in 2016. This was, in particular, a result of the relatively weak spring and summer months characterized by markedly restrained travel bookings in the wake of geopolitical uncertainties. In the last quarter of 2016, traffic figures noticeably rebounded, even reaching a new December monthly record. Cargo tonnage expanded by 1.8% to some 2.1 million metric tons, helped by the economic recovery in summer 2016.

Fraport´s international portfolio of airports displayed mixed results in 2016. The strong 30.9% decline in traffic at Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey – which was impacted by the country´s geopolitical and security situation – could be largely offset by the traffic performance of Group airports at other locations. Strong growth was recorded in particular at Lima Airport (LIM) in Peru (up 10.1%), Burgas Airport (BOJ) and Varna Airport (VAR) on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast (up 22.0% and 20.8%, respectively), and Xi´an Airport (XIY) in China (up 12.2%).

Fraport AG is the the owner and manager of Frankfurt Airport.

Cothier joins Avascent

Philippe Cothier has joined Avascent´s Paris-based operations as a Senior Executive Advisor, the company said.

Cothier brings more than 30 years of high-level experience in the aerospace and defense sector. With degrees from INSEAD, MIT, and Ecole Polytechnique, Cothier has worked in government with the French Ministry of Defense, in industry with MATRA, and as a strategy consultant with McKinsey.

Based in Paris, Cothier will work with Avascent´s European clients on issues ranging from global strategies to major program captures and mergers and acquisitions.

With offices in Washington, DC, Paris, London, and Ottawa, as well as teams in Poland and Japan, Avascent serves clients in industry, finance and government through rigorous, fact-based analysis, deep sector knowledge, and pragmatic solutions.

Avascent is a global aerospace, defense and government strategy consulting and analytics firm serving clients operating in government-driven markets. Working with corporate leaders and financial investors, the firm delivers solutions in the areas of strategic growth, value capture, and mergers and acquisitions support.

SITA launches working group to address airport security

SITA has announced the formation of the Secure Journeys Working Group to address today´s airport security threats in the USA and to work toward creating a secure and efficient passenger experience throughout the airport, the company said.

The launch of the Secure Journeys initiative is in response to the current security climate and recent attacks on non-secure areas of the airport, including the Brussels airport bombing and Fort Lauderdale airport shooting. Members of the working group cite these incidents as examples that demonstrate the need to rethink the approach to getting passengers through the airport quickly and safely.

Secure Journeys is an evolution and expansion of SITA´s Border Automation User Group which was formed in 2015 to facilitate implementation of the US Customs and Border Protection´s (CBP) Automated Passport Control program.

The newly extended group will address growing challenges, including moving passengers and baggage more rapidly through non-secure areas of the airport; reducing and effectively managing security wait times; incorporating biometrics for passenger screening authentication; addressing ways in which identity management solutions can be used along with data analytics to reduce the growing concerns around the insider threat.

SITA is the global provider of border security and IT solutions to governments, airlines and airports. Its communications and IT solutions provide technology for airlines, at airports, and on aircraft. The company´s portfolio covers everything from managed global communications and infrastructure services, to eAircraft, passenger management, baggage, self-service, airport and border management solutions. Owned 100% by more than 400 air transport industry members, SITA has a unique understanding of its needs and places a strong emphasis on technology innovation.

With a presence at more than 1,000 airports around the world and a customer service team of 2,000+ staff, SITA delivers service to more than 2,800 customers in more than 200 countries. In 2015, SITA had consolidated revenues of USD 1.7bn. SITA´s subsidiaries and joint ventures include SITAONAIR, CHAMP Cargosystems, and Aviareto.

Evans launches UAS solutions suite

Evans Incorporated has launched its comprehensive CAARMA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Solutions Suite, the company said.

The CAARMA UAS Solutions Suite delivers significant value to users across the aviation industry in its ability to safely and effectively expand the use of UAS within the government and commercial sectors.

According to Evans´ founder and CEO Sue Evans, the company´s CAARMA Solutions are proven to have saved the government over USD 10m on one project alone, through improved decision making and more efficient technology planning that generated cost avoidance measures.

Evans´ CAARMA UAS Solutions Suite is tailored to give organizations, of any size, the tools they need to realize the benefits of an operational UAS program. At the core of Evans´ CAARMA UAS Solutions Suite is its four-part UAS Programmatic Readiness and Health Assessment, which is designed to minimize risk, maximize ability to exploit market-driven opportunities and optimize investment to realize the fastest possible outcomes. To drive value and increase productivity, the assessment follows a continuum from identifying the need for UAS all the way to ongoing operations and maintenance of the program.

During this Assessment, Evans works with the organization to evaluate its capability to operate various aspects of a UAS program. Evans begins by reviewing resources, procedures, and business plans regarding hardware, software, piloting, flight operations and regulatory compliance. Evans also evaluates the organization´s culture to develop a customized implementation plan that considers the human element to maximize the probability of success.

Evans Incorporated is consulting and solutions provider specializing in human-centered solutions in healthcare, aviation, and international development, delivering results for leading commercial and public clients domestically and internationally. Evans´ CAARMA solutions and products are designed to address specific challenges related to organizational effectiveness, technology integration or business start-up with a unique, human-centered approach.

Alaska Airlines adds 6 nonstop routes from San Diego

Alaska Airlines is adding service to six new destinations from San Diego International Airport, including daily flights to Albuquerque, New Mexico; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Omaha, Nebraska; and St. Louis, Missouri, the carrier said.

By late August, Alaska will fly 40 daily departures to 28 destinations from San Diego, including the most nonstop flights to Mexico and Hawaii.

The new flights build on previously announced routes, which include daily nonstop flights between San Diego and Baltimore, three-times-daily service between San Diego and Sacramento, and daily service between San Diego and Mexico City. Flight schedules for Mexico City will be announced in the coming months, pending government approval.

New routes will be served by 76-seat Embraer E175 jets, which feature 12 seats in first class, 12 seats in premium class and 52 seats in the main cabin.

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America along with their regional partners, fly 40 million customers a year to 118 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, and Cuba. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, customers can earn and redeem miles on flights to nearly 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).

Partnership allows flynas frequent flyer members to earn points with Booking.com

Saudi Arabia´s low-cost carrier, flynas, has extended its partnership agreement with Booking.com, which now allows its loyalty program “nasmiles” members to earn SMILE Points when booking accommodation via a co-branded website, the airline said.

A common challenge when booking accommodation through third-party online marketplaces is the inability to earn airline loyalty reward points. Members of “nasmiles” now have the option to book their hotel stays and continue to earn SMILE Points, the loyalty program´s currency.

To earn SMILE Points, nasmiles members will be required to book their hotel stays through a co-branded platform managed by Booking.com. Before completing the booking process, nasmiles members will be prompted to enter their membership ID in order to earn SMILE Points.

Designed to reward members, SMILE Points earned can be redeemed for flights and other services, such as cabin upgrades, meals, preferred seat selection and much more.

With this new agreement, flynas is able to extend the benefits of its nasmiles loyalty program to not just to their existing members, but to new travellers choosing the leading low-cost carrier in Saudi Arabia.

flynas is a low-cost carrier from Saudi Arabia with a young fleet of 30 aircrafts, operating nearly 1100 weekly flights to 34 destinations within and outside of Saudi Arabia. Launched in 2007, flynas has successfully carried more than 18 million passengers.

IJGlobal awards LaGuardia Gateway Partners 2016 "North American Airport Deal of the Year"

The redevelopment of LaGuardia Central Terminal B, led by LaGuardia Gateway Partners, was recognized as ´North American Airport Deal of the Year´ by IJGlobal, the project finance and infrastructure journal, the firm said.

With this award, the redevelopment of Central Terminal B joins a select group of leading energy and infrastructure projects recognized for global excellence. LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) is composed of three equity and development partners: Vantage Airport Group, Skanska, and Meridiam.

The IJ Global Awards recognizes companies, major projects and achievements in infrastructure around the world. This award comes on the heels of recognition for LGP in the 2016 Project Finance International Awards, where the partnership took home the “Americas Transportation Deal of the Year” award, honoring achievement and ingenuity in the global finance market.

The USD 4bn, 1.3-million square foot redevelopment project is one of the largest public-private partnerships in the nation´s history and the largest in US aviation. It includes a new 35-gate Central Terminal B and is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification for sustainable design. It will also feature dual pedestrian bridges spanning active taxi lanes — the first in the world — to connect the terminal to two island concourses.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners was selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to deliver an extensive capital redevelopment project at LaGuardia Airport that will provide world-class terminal facilities and operations for passengers and airlines.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners is composed of Vantage Airport Group, Skanska and Meridiam for development and equity investment; SkanskaWalsh as the design build joint venture; HOK and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff for design; and Vantage Airport Group for management of the terminal operations. LGP members have worked on more than 350 aviation and transportation projects globally and domestically, including international airports in New York (John F. Kennedy), Chicago, Doha, Delhi, Los Angeles, Santiago, and Nassau.

Cima Group forms joint venture with Eocene Health Systems

Global telecom and digital solutions conglomerate Cima Group and a developer and manufacturer of healthcare solutions, Eocene Systems, have completed the creation of a joint venture, Cima Care Solutions, the companies said.

The deal unites the two organizations´ unique set of capabilities to effectively deliver an active in-home patient care and monitoring solution for the next generation of telemedicine.

The announcement comes on the heels of Cima Group´s recent acquisition of Orlando-based Knetik and its robust digital revenue optimization platform for the monetization of any digital transaction along with a deeper and broader view into customer engagement and comprehensive data reporting and analytics.

The combination of Eocene Health´s strong in-home health monitoring solutions, Knetik´s revenue and customer management, engagement and analytics platform, paired with the OSS/BSS platform and telecom ecosystem from Auris, a Cima Group company, provides the components that are poised to deliver a truly seamless, end-to-end telehealth solution.

This remote healthcare delivery solution will connect the patient inside their home to the healthcare provider for active monitoring and care. The technology allows the healthcare professional to continue to monitor and communicate with the patient after the patient leaves the hospital or office. The joint venture is powered by Prodea´s award winning multiservice IoT platform that serves as the single access point, enabling patients to take full advantage of a growing menu of cutting edge health services, while simultaneously creating new revenue streams for operators looking to monetize their digital service set.

Cima Group is a global telecommunications and digital solutions provider and integrator. Since 1981, Cima Group has provided retail and wholesale voice services, and value-added platform services such as Analytics, Automation and Engagement.

Eocene Systems offers healthcare organizations a ubiquitous BYOD platform to manage their patients in the most desired and cost effective environment, their residential home. Built on a foundation of the latest IoT technologies Eocene provides a complete and immersed view of the patient and their daily living habits.

Auris provides cloud-based OSS/BSS core digital platforms to Communication Service Providers (CSP), enabling them to monetize missed opportunities in the digital economy. A partner since 2002, Auris offers its partners one-stop-shop solutions that enable its clients to focus on their business.

Fraport wins concessions at 2 Brazilian airports

During Brazil´s third round of airport privatizations decided at public auction in Sao Paulo, Fraport AG placed the top bids of BRL 1,505.75m (about EUR 446.81m) for Fortaleza Airport, and BRL 382.01m (about EUR 113.36m) for Porto Alegre Airport, the company said.

Along with the concession price, Fraport will pay a fixed fee amounting to 5% of the airport´s annual revenue. The concession will run for 30 years at Fortaleza and for 25 years at Porto Alegre. Currently holding a 100% stake, Fraport will be the sole owner and participant of these concessions. Thus, the concessions and future results will be fully consolidated at the Fraport Group level.

Following the takeover of the concessions, Fraport AG expects an additional accumulated EBITDA at the group level resulting from the two airports of around EUR 350m during the first 5 years and an accumulated negative contribution to the group result ranging from the mid to high double-digit million euros. Due to the takeover of the concessions and the mandatory capital expenditure, Fraport AG expects an increase in group net debt by up to around EUR 700m in the first 5 years.

Fortaleza´s Pinto Martins International Airport (FOR) is strategically located in the federal state of Ceará in the northeastern-most part of Brazil, which juts deep into the Atlantic Ocean. With over four million inhabitants, the Fortaleza metropolitan region ranks sixth in the country. FOR received 5.7 million passengers in 2016, making it the country´s twelve busiest airport. From 2005 to 2016, Fortaleza Airport registered 6.8% compound annual growth (CARG). The 5.3 square-kilometer airport site comprises one runway and one passenger terminal.

Porto Alegre´s Salgado Filho International Airport (POA) serves as the gateway to Brazil´s southern-most federal state of Rio Grande do Sul, which has a population of over 10 million people. POA welcomed 7.6 million passengers in 2016, making it Brazil´s 9th largest airport by passenger traffic. From 2005 to 2016, the airport´s compound annual growth averaged 7.3%. Comprising a total of 3.8 square kilometers, the airport has one runway and two passenger terminals. Air travelers can shuttle to the nearby Alegre Metro Airport Station for trains to downtown Porto Alegre and other cities of the 4.3 million urban region vVa the Aeromóvel people-mover.

Zeriscope launches mobile telemedicine exam kit

Zeriscope has launched its portable and cost-effective Mobile Telemedicine Exam Kit, a simple and easy-to-adopt hardware and software tool that combines live video and data streaming technology with remote patient care, the company said.

The Mobile Telemedicine Exam Kit contains a ruggedized tablet, keyboard and an assortment of exam sensors including blood pressure monitor, a high definition Bluetooth stethoscope, pulse oximeter, 4-lead ECG, otoscope, exam/wound camera and other peripherals as customized for each customer´s requirements. The kit fits neatly into a lightweight bag and is the most compact, portable video-enabled exam kit available for healthcare professionals.

Home or remotely located healthcare providers such as Home Health nurse professionals can conduct thorough exam procedures while linking live with a remotely located medical expert or physician, supporting the effort to prevent costly or avoidable emergency room visits or hospital readmissions.

The video feed from the tablet or exam camera connects live to the physician via a HIPAA compliant cloud-based platform developed by Zeriscope, allowing healthcare professionals to bring the clinic to the patient in real-time.

Zeriscope is a mobile telemedicine platform company that facilitates live, secure, online, video-enabled telemedicine exams. Zeriscope exam kits or carts benefit patients, physicians, and a host of progressive healthcare business models leveraging smart telemedicine applications. Zeriscope´s design philosophy is centered on simple and easy-to-adopt solutions that leverage affordable technology and common sense healthcare delivery.