In 2003, OPIC committed $200 million in financing to support the construction of the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Quiport) in Quito, Ecuador. Since the new airport opened in 2013, it has produced far-reaching benefits from Ecuador to the United States.
Small businesses expand their horizons
Republica de Cacao, a small business selling fine locally produced chocolate, began as tiny kiosk in Quito’s old airport. With increased tourism from the new airport, it gained visibility among international consumers and started exporting high-end chocolates to multiple countries, including France. Having a modern airport has been vital to helping local businesses like Republica de Cacao access more export markets.
A key local commodity reaches new markets
Having a longer runway has enabled larger planes being to take off and land in Quito, offering Ecuador the opportunity to expand its export markets around the world. One big beneficiary has been the local rose industry, which now serves several distant markets such as Russia.
Creating new opportunities for the tourism sector
As the airport expanded, it created more opportunities for air carriers, such as Jet Blue, which began serving Quito. While airlines flying into Ecuador had traditionally served older, more affluent travelers passing through Quito on the way to the Galapagos Islands, carriers like JetBlue helped introduce a new type of traveler interested in the sights in and around Quito. Jet Blue’s route from New York to Quito reached 90 percent capacity in its first year, far exceeding industry standards.