After just over a year in operation at its new location outside the Ecuadorian capital, Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) is already set for further expansion.
The gateway was opened in February 2013 in the Tababela parish, about 18km east of the city, replacing the old city airport which was too near downtown residential neighbourhoods.
Since its debut, operator Quiport says that traffic development has been swift, reaching 5.8m in 2013 (from 5.4m in 2012). As a result, terminal expansion is now pipelined to add a further 583sq m to the airside areas which will enable the airport to handle an additional 51% of passengers in peak hours.
UIO whose two-level shopping area is called Mall del Cielo (Sky-Mall), did not identify specific new retail areas as part of the project. But Andrew O’Brian, President and CEO of Quiport, points to healthy growth in international passenger traffic: four new direct routes from Quito, new airlines and increased frequency, all of which are essential to growing duty free and travel retail revenue.
Last June, TAME, Ecuador’s main airline, opened a direct route to Buenos Aires, Argentina; in September it launched three weekly flights to São Paulo, Brazil; in October, Spanish carrier Iberia launched a direct route to Madrid, also thrice weekly; and in December Aeromexico entered the market with seven weekly flight to Mexico City.