Aéroports de Montréal is going to need the money

It will be necessary to inject capital into Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) when air traffic will return to normal, otherwise the “structure will crack”, warned its President and CEO, Philippe Rainville, during a speech to the Canadian Circle. from Montreal, Monday.

ADM’s infrastructure was already not responding adequately to demand before the pandemic. However, the non-profit organization was forced to put on ice all projects allowing an addition of capacity for financial reasons. “Our teams could have taken advantage of the lull to upgrade,” said Rainville. Unfortunately, our safes were dry, and we limited ourselves to maintenance programs. “

If the resumption of air traffic happens “too quickly” at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, the current infrastructure will not be able to meet demand, said Rainville at a press briefing on the sidelines of the conference.

He gave as an example the landing stage repair project where traffic was pushing back on the highway due to a lack of capacity in 2019. “Before I have the money to be able to redo the landing stage, just this part -there, it will squeak. We will not provide the service we need. People will complain, and we’ll get the money, at least I hope so. “

It will take “a few billion” to finance these projects, anticipates Mr. Rainville. “I don’t want to go cry to have the money in the public square. We got the money for the REM. We take a break, but it is sure that, in a few years, we will have to sit down [pour trouver une solution de financement]. »

Mr. Rainville mentioned the possibility of obtaining capital from private investors to finance the various infrastructure projects in his boxes. By “wisely” choosing patient capital from an institutional investor like a pension plan, ADM could leverage private capital without having to put financial pressure on travelers or carriers for returns, he believes.

REM, “financial disaster”

Mr. Rainville also called the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) station project at Montreal Trudeau airport a “financial disaster”. The nonprofit has secured $ 100 million in funding for a total project of $ 600 million. The remaining $ 500 million will be funded by ADM.

“People think we are doing the REM to make money. We don’t do the REM to make money. As soon as the REM arrives, we deprive ourselves of parking revenues. “

ADM estimates that it will lose between $ 5 million and $ 10 million in parking revenue after the REM takes office. “We don’t get any income [de la présence d’une station]. We do it for the passengers. We do it to reduce the carbon footprint. We take for granted that travelers think as we do that bringing the REM to the airport is the right thing to do. “

Relance and Omicron

In a sad irony, ADM’s speech was about the revival of its activities as the discovery of the Omicron variant raises the specter of a tightening of health measures.

“We have plans, but the emergence of variants like the Omicron can turn everything upside down,” he admitted at the start of the presentation. Today, we are talking about stimulus, if you don’t mind. Let us take for granted that this last variant will not resist our vaccines. “

At the same time that Mr. Rainville was holding his conference, the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, confirmed that a case of contamination with the Omicron variant was identified in Quebec. Public health has also identified 115 travelers from African countries considered at risk.

The minister also warned that travelers’ plans could be disrupted. “We ask Quebeckers who travel abroad to remain excessively vigilant because the requirements on returning from their trip could change rapidly. […] No matter where you travel, you have to be careful, ”said Minister Dubé.

At a press briefing, Mr. Rainville took the discovery of the new variant with philosophy. ADM will follow the instructions issued by public health and deal with the vagaries of this pandemic, over which it has no control. “We’ve been in there for a year and a half, we open, we close. People book trips, they cancel. “

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