Τhe 40-year concession agreement between the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) and the consortium of Fraport AG-Slentel (a unit of Greek energy Copelouzos Group) for the upgrade, maintenance, management and operation of 14 Greek regional airports was signed on Monday, December 14.
Forming part of the international privatization process for the regional airports concessions initially launched in 2013, TAIPED had named Fraport as the preferred bidder to lease and run 14 local airports in leading tourism destinations jointly with Copelouzos Group in November 2014. The offer consisted of an upfront payment of 1.234 billion euros and an annual payment of 22.9 million euros for as long as the concession runs, adjusted each year according to the inflation rate.
The ownership of the airports will remain under the Greek government for the duration of the concession.
Overall, the 14 Greek regional airports in 2014 served some 22 million passengers and are expected to exceed 23 million passengers in 2015. International passengers represent 77 percent of the total traffic at the 14 airports.
The airports in the mainland are Aktion (PVK), Kavala (KVA) and Thessaloniki (SKG). The remaining 11 airports are located on islands and are those on Corfu (CFU), Chania/Crete (CHQ), Kefallonia (EFL), Kos (KGS), Mytilene (MJT), Mykonos (JMK), Rhodes ( RHO), Samos (KGS), Santorini (JTR), Skiathos (JSI) and Zakynthos (ZTH).
Under the deal, the Fraport-Copelouzos consortium is expected to spend more than 300 million euros as minimum guaranteed investments to upgrade the airports by 2020 in accordance to the standards of IATA (Level C). Maintenance investments, upgrading and expansion of the airports in accordance to the development of passenger traffic will follow during the concession period, reaching the amount of 1.4 billion euros.
Fraport is expected to be active at the airports in the fourth quarter of 2016.
According to TAIPED, the deal is expected to create 1,500 new jobs in and around the airports.
“The signing of the concessions contract for the 14 regional airports a few days after the recapitalization of the Greek banks is very important and delivers a strong message to everyone that the Greek economy is gaining the markets confidence and is re-entering the path of development”, TAIPED’s chairman, Stergios Pitsiorlas, said.