After the last-minute pullout of its French-owned bidding partner Worldwide Flight Services, a new group of companies headed by Israel's Dankner Investments was recently selected by the Israel Airport Authorities (IAA) to establish and operate an additional cargo terminal at the Ben Gurion International Airport.
The decision was finalized after a series of delays, including the non-submission of a bid for the tender. “The groups participating in the tender asked the Airport Authorities to postpone the submission date for the tender, as a result of changes in the structure of one of the groups,” said former Deputy Director for International Relations at IAA, Pinchas Schiff in Haaretz.
It is believed that Schiff’s statement is referring to Worldwide Flight Services, a subsidiary of Paris-based Vinci Group. The company unexpectedly pulled out of the $20 million deal seven days before the March 17, 2003 submission date. The revised Group headed by Dankner includes Swissport International, Cargo Air Lines (CAL), Flying Cargo and, Laufer.
The Vinci Group appears to be committed to breaking any Israeli ties while strengthening its strong Arab connections. This last-minute withdrawal recalls a previous pullout by a Vinci subsidiary from a deal with another Israeli company in the aviation arena, SpaceLogic. According to a May 2003 Mena Report story, Vinci had previously entered into a joint venture with Israeli company, SpaceLogic, to provide airport security systems when Vinci unilaterally withdrew from the joint venture without warning.
SpaceLogic is now suing Vinci for breach of agreement. As previously reported, SpaceLogic is investigating the possibility of a link between Vinci’s joint venture pullout and the resurging Arab boycott. Only 10 days before the company withdrew from the joint venture, Vinci signed a major new contract worth $225 million with the Egyptian government.
Adding to this recurring theme is Vinci’s recent application to participate in the new Cairo Airport Project, reported MEED. It is one of seven groups of local and international contractors who submitted applications by the September 30 deadline to the Cairo Airport Company to pre-qualify for the estimated $350 million-400 million project to build a third terminal for Cairo International Airport. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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