Mexico's anti-trust commission CFC has ruled that local airport operator Asur (NYSE: ASR, BMV: ASUR) is ineligible to participate in the Riviera Maya airport concession, on the grounds that it would harm airport competitiveness in eastern Mexico.
The proposed site for the new airport is just over 130km from Cancún airport, which is operated by Asur. Both airports would be located close to the popular Playa del Carmen resort, allowing tourists to choose between the two based on price and quality.
"The Riviera Maya airport is an historic opportunity to have competition between two airports that are close together. Allowing the participation of Asur in the tender would have risked that opportunity and harmed consumers and tourism in the country's most important tourist area," CFC president Eduardo Pérez Motta said in a release announcing the ruling.
Asur is currently preparing to appeal against the decision, paper Milenio reported. An appeal would be a further setback for the US$250mn airport project, which was first announced in 2008 and has already been delayed several times.
CFC authorized the participation of two other groups in the Riviera Maya airport concession: Grupo México with airport operator GAP (NYSE: PAC, BMV: GAP), and a group comprised of Corporación América, Tradeco Infraestructura and a private citizen.
The Riviera Maya airport is expected to handle 3mn passengers each year.