Catullo Spa. Complete management of the Verona and Brescia airports
The Garda system is launched: a 34,000 km2 basin and 15
airport to Catullo Spa, economic and industrial implications were presented
today as well as mid to long term development prospective for the company.
Catullo Spa has also managed the Verona airport in complete concession since
2008. The two concessions within the same managing body lead to the
establishment of the new Garda system with significant strategic and industrial
value on a national and international level.
behalf of Catullo Spa the Chairman, Paolo Arena and the Managing Director,
Carmine Bassetti participated in the press conference. Flavio Tosi, Mayor of
Verona, also participated along with the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce
Alessandro Bianchi, in the dual role of reference shareholder (with 27.727% of
the shares) and spokesperson for the Veronese economic world, President of the
Province Giovanni Miozzi (third shareholder with shares of 14.702%), the
honourable Gianni Dal Moro and the honourable Alberto Giorgetti. Trentino-Alto
Adige was represented by the vice chairman of Catullo Spa, Pierluigi Angeli
(the Trento Province is the second shareholder with 21.49%). For the Brescia
system (which holds 6.195% of the shares) Province Alderman and member of the
Catullo Spa BoD Bontempi was present.
“With the issue of the complete concession of the
Brescia airport to Catullo Spa the last of the four macros on which the
industrial plan of airport restructuring and relaunching comes to a close –
said Chairman Paolo Arena – Just eight months ago we had shown our shareholders
the path to relaunching the airports which envisaged painful stages of
restructuring in order to build the new foundations from which to begin
development. The shareholders placed their trust in us and today I want to
“November last we had already announced the conclusion
– continued Chairman Arena – of the
restructuring process which saw the reduction of structural costs (in the
amount of €2.5 million) through cutting unnecessary expenses, rationalisation
of the group's organisation through mergers or corporate liquidation with
absorption or liquidation of subsidiaries (in the amount of €6 million) and the
resolution of “toxic” contracts (for a value of €7 million). We knew this was
not enough. We had to obtain the management assignment for Montichiari in order
to restore the economic balance and to put real conditions of development into
“The company took action for this – concluded Chairman Arena – involving the political
and economical world in order to convince the government of the solidity of the
industrial plan and the important prospects that the concession would open up
for the company and its territory. Teamwork was fundamental with the world of
politics and economics, here today and to whom we extend our most sincere
The Chairman then thanked the General Manager along
with the airport staff, who worked to arrange all the technical documentation
and who worked toward implementing the industrial plan.
The Chairman then pointed out how the conditions to
begin the reconstruction process have now been created, although well aware
that we are still in a situation that has its ups and downs with a few positive
signs such as the stabilisation of cargo traffic in January, which the IATA
(International Air Transport Association) calls "encouraging", and
airline profits improving, but with passenger traffic in Europe down the same
month by 1.6% and 80% of EU area airports showing drops in traffic.
Despite the prudent expectations and the awareness
that Verona is suffering traffic losses due to the weakness of the carriers and
the economic situation, the vision for development of the two airports which
the company now holds complete management for is clearly defined. As the Garda
System, Catullo Spa moves up a category, going from a company that manages a
regional airport concession to a manager of an airport system with strategic
The selected management model is one of airport
specialisation based on the needs of the territory since the Garda system is
technically a complete system, meeting the needs of the territory and
satisfying passenger and cargo traffic requirements. The system model is
present in many other international organisations such as London (system with 5
airports) and Paris (system with 3 airports).
In the Garda system's case, airport specialisation was
carried out in such a way so as to create complementary interaction of the
operational functions between Verona, primarily dedicated to short to mid-term
passengers, ad Brescia, primarily dedicated to short to mid-term cargo and mid-term
passengers as well.
Brescia Montichiari: from 40,000 to 84,000 tons of
cargo by 2020
According to modest estimates, traffic expectations in
15-20 years, which is the minimum scheduling time, will reach 320 million
passengers and 3 million tons of cargo in Italy.
In 30 years, starting from the current 58 million
passengers and considering an average growth rate of 3% annually (Boeing and
Airbus estimates are more aggressive), Northern Italy will be capable of
handling 130 million passengers. As
regards the Padana area, we will have about 60-70 million passengers and at least 1 million tons of cargo, both in excess of the current airport
In their current state, the airport infrastructures do
not have room to grow, with the exception of Brescia Montichiari.
The latter was defined by experts as an opportunity,
having state owned space for development and already possessing an adequate
infrastructure in terms of access viability. Therefore, in the mid-long term,
Montichiari can be part of the team with the other airports with specialised
support functions for the Northern Italy airports.
Studies have calculated that the area plan launched by
the Lombardy region, tying up the land around Montichiari exclusively for
infrastructure development connected to airport activities, give the airport
the possibility of developing into an area even larger than the current spread
of New York's JFK and Charles De Gaulle in Paris. No other airport in Northern Italy has expansion possibilities like
this. For this reason, in the mid to long term, Brescia will be able to
have a development prospect in passenger
traffic as well through adequate infrastructural developments.
“The development of the Montichiari airport in the
immediate future – stated Managing
Director Carmine Bassetti – has to do nevertheless with cargo traffic, for which short term infrastructural investments
are not required.
Negotiations are in progress with Asian cargo
companies and investors which had been interrupted December last due to news of
the possible impending concession assignment. In fact, obviously no company is
willing to make development plans on an airport in a situation of uncertain
The negotiations were picked back up following
granting of the concession and we hope that they will be able to have an impact
on scheduling as early as the next IATA season (autumn 2013 - December 2014)”.
“The goal of the industrial plan – concluded Managing Director Carmine Bassetti –
envisages an increase in cargo traffic to 60,000 tons in 2015, which will then
progressively grow to 84,000 by 2020. It is estimated that economic balance of
the Montichiari airport could be restored with handling of 60,000 tons per year. The goal of economic balance will be achieved
through a progressive improvement of the profit and loss account as early as
this year and for all of 2014”.
Despite the fact that 2012 felt the negative
effects of the lasting economic situation, the growth estimates contained in
the industrial plan for the Brescia airport appear to be compatible with the
sector forecast, which indicate positive future prospects for the Italian
market in all the traffic lines. In
fact, an analysis commissioned by IATA indicates an expected average rate
growth rate of 4.2% for cargo
traffic until 2015, drawn at first
by the Asia (5.2%) and Middle East (5.4%) lines. Compared to these projections,
it should be pointed out how in Italy there is a clear imbalance between the
cargo traffic import (25%) and export (75%) component.
is positive information which places Italy just behind Germany in air cargo
exporting. The 2011 data is further consolation in the current situation which,
against a 0.4% growth of the national GDP, saw exports hit an increase of
11.2%. The same data is confirmed on a local level. In fact, Unioncamere Veneto
showed how in 2012 the Veneto GDP shrunk -1.9%, but exports continue to grow by
+1.6% for a value of more than €51 billion.
In assessing the Montichiari airport growth prospects,
it should be borne in mind that the catchment area where Brescia is located
is within the “Blue Banana”, a
term used to indicate an economic and demographic corridor in Western Europe
which goes from England to the Padana Plains, with a population of about 110
At the same time, Brescia Montichiari is located
within the Padana area, one of the most populated and economically developed
areas in Italy, with a population of about 20 million residents (33% of the
Italian population), 1.8 million companies (33% of the Italian total), a GDP of
about €600 billion generated (which corresponds to about 40% of the national
GDP), as well as 54% of all Italian import and export cargo handling.
The Brescia Montichiari airport is also characterised
by a few significant competitive
advantages compared to other airports, including the possibility of nocturnal operations without interfering
with urban areas, the realisation of
new road and rail infrastructures, not the least of which is the BREBEMI motorway which will provide
a connection between the Brescian airport to the areas east of Milan, where
many of the primary logistics operators are located, in less than 25 minutes by 2013. The presence of new and unfilled
infrastructures at the airport should also be taken into consideration, with
qualified personnel possessing specific cargo know how.
Consequently, for logistics operators specialised in
air cargo, the Brescia Montichiari airport represents a localised platform in
the highest production areas of the country and it is strategically placed on
Corridor 1 to Brennero with the possibility of simultaneously intercepting
corridor No. 5, making intermodal transportation economically – as well as
environmentally – sustainable.
It was also pointed out how air cargo transportation
follows pre-established routes which depart from and arrive at the major global
hubs. There are important flows that move from the Fare East to North American
via Europe and from here Italy is currently
The Montichiari strategy is to become an integral part of these global flows, offering logistical
support for goods currently “fleeing” Italy for other European airports, but
also for those arriving from the Far East destined for Africa.
For this reason it is essential for Montichiari to
count on the support of an important partner who will place it in the
international cargo traffic lines.
In order to be further developed, Brescia Montichiari
needs specific know how in the sector which can be acquired by its induction
into the corporate organisation of an industrial
Media Relations and Press Office Manager
Garda Airports - Verona and Brescia
mobile 339 2211611
phone 045 8095784
IATA, Signs of stabilization as air cargo
grows in January – Geneva, 4 March 2013
 ACI, January airport traffic grim outlook for 2013 – Brussels, 6 March 2013