July 17, 2020 / 8:35 AM / 22 days ago

Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport delays $535 mln terminal expansion to 2030s

MOSCOW, July 17 (Reuters) - Sheremetyevo Airport, Russia’s busiest, has postponed the construction and renovation of two terminals by at least four years to the 2030s due to the coronavirus pandemic, it said in an annual report.

The more-than $400 million investment in Terminal C2, part of a development programme worth around $2.5 billion, is expected to increase the Moscow airport’s capacity by 20 million passengers a year to 100 million. That project’s schedule for completion, which had been due in 2026, was pushed back to 2030 at the earliest.

“The construction timeline for terminal C2 has been shifted due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now determined in relation to our forecast of the recovery in passenger traffic and its further growth,” a Sheremetyevo Airport spokesman said on Friday.

In April, when anti-coronavirus lockdown measures were tightest in Moscow, passenger traffic at Sheremetyevo fell 96%. In June, the airport’s co-owner and board chairman Alexander Ponomarenko told Reuters it had temporarily frozen some investments.

The annual report, published late on Thursday, said the $120 million renovation of Terminal F, previously planned for after the completion of Terminal C2, was also postponed, until 2031.

Sheremetyevo, the base of state airline Aeroflot, handled 49.9 million passengers last year. In the first five months of 2020, passenger traffic halved to 9.15 million.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by John Stonestreet

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