The Spanish company GPA has won a tender from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to evaluate and make proposals to improve the passenger air transport market in six countries of Central America and the Caribbean.
According to the regional government of Catalonia (northeast), the Catalan firm will analyze the competitiveness, regulatory quality and operation of this sector in Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, after winning the bid for 235,000 dollars, about 199,700 euros.
The company’s CEO, Jaume Adrover, explained that the six countries share “the feeling that they are losing opportunities in the passenger transport sector as an engine for developing tourism, attracting foreign investment and generating more economic activity”.
All six, he added, “are small states in population but in a strategic geographical area, where the penetration of low-cost carriers is generally small, and they need to stimulate growth by favoring competitiveness.”
Part of GPA’s task will be to design a joint roadmap with measures to integrate the different airspaces to make them more competitive, as well as to analyze the current regulatory barriers that hinder the entry of new companies.
Adrover pointed out that “a person flying from San Salvador to Managua pays about 600-800 dollars for a one-hour flight. This means that the prices for flying between these countries are similar to the cost of flying to the United States,” which in his opinion means that the markets do not facilitate the economic and social growth that is usually associated with aviation.
During the year and a half of the company’s work, they will have to review airport management and, if it is attractive to airlines, push for management that is as transparent as possible and ensure that the review bodies have the capacity to manage the sector.
GPA is a consultancy firm specializing in air transport, founded in 1999 in Barcelona, and one of its avenues for growth is the search for international tenders.
To achieve this tender, GPA was assisted by an agency of the Government of Catalonia specialized in advising on accessing tenders from multilateral organizations such as the IDB or the World Bank.