HAVANA TIMES – The French corporations, Bouygues Batiment International and Aeropuertos de Paris will manage the “Jose Marti” International Airport of Havana, the government announced today on state television.
The agreement foresees “immediate actions to improve the quality of services” and “investment in the medium and long term,” said a statement from the Cuban Ministry of Transport.
The Cuban government did not provide data on the amount of planned investments in the Havana airport, but announced that similar agreements “will continue to sought out for other airports in the country.”
The granting of the airport in Havana also includes the nearby airfield of San Antonio de los Baños.
Last May, the then Spanish Minister of Development, Ana Pastor, visited Cuba and showed the interest of the Spanish company Aena to manage Cuba’s main airport.
French companies are strengthening their presence on the island, taking advantage of the good diplomatic relations between French President, Francois Hollande, and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, who have exchanged official visits.
Recently, the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Cuba and the French Development Agency to finance French projects on the island was announced.
The agreement will facilitate investments in priority areas as renewable energy, water and sanitation, tourism and transport.
Since the beginning of the “thaw” between Cuba and the United States, the island is experiencing a tourism boom. During the first half of 2016, the number of US visitors grew by 83.9 percent.
Cuban authorities estimate that in 2016 the island will receive 3.7 million foreign tourists, surpassing by 175,200 the figure for the previous year, when the island broke its record by receiving over 3.5 million visitors.