The Ministry of Transportation announced the French corporations Bouygues Batiment International and Aéroports de Paris (ADP) have been granted a concession agreement to modernize and manage Havana’s José Martí International Airport.
Since 1998, Bouygues has had extensive experience with hotel and resort construction throughout the Island. Bouygues has built over 13 resorts and more than 10,000 hotel rooms for the Cuban tourism sector. The Manzana de Gómez Hotel in Havana is one of their current projects.
The Transportation Ministry said that French companies were chosen because of their reputation and previous experience in Cuba. France and Cuba have been pursuing a relationship since May of 2015 when President François Hollande visited Havana. Earlier this year, Cuba’s President Raúl Castro reciprocated and visited France.
The French Development Agency (AFD) will soon be opening an office in Cuba. The office will finance various development projects ranging from tourism, transportation to renewable energy on the Island. At the present time, about twenty French firms are operating in Cuba.
Eduardo Rodriguez, the Cuban Deputy Minister of Transportation said, “The project foresees the financing and execution of immediate actions to improve the quality of services as well as medium and long-term investments corresponding to the estimated growth in passengers.”
José Martí airport currently receives about 1.75 million tourist a year. This project is in response to the expectation of an increase in airport arrivals from the United States. Commercial flights from the U.S. are scheduled to begin in late August. There are currently no hotels in the near vicinity of the airport. In response to the necessity of an airport hotel, a five star hotel will built at the location.
Over the years, Cubana S.A. Airlines has been expanding and modernizing the José Martí International Airport in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulation.