“We are convinced that our engagement in Greece will act as a catalyst for the growth of the country’s vital tourism sector”, Alexander Zinell, Fraport Greece’s CEO, said in a statement on Monday while welcoming the ratification of contracts by the Greek Parliament on Sunday for the concession of 14 regional airports.
“The ratification of such a vital infrastructure project sends a strong message to the global marketplace that Greece is forward thinking in creating a new dynamic future for the country“, Mr Zinell said.
The concession process for the Greek regional airports project was initiated by Greek state privatization fund TAIPED in early 2013.
”The Greek parliament’s ratification of the concession agreements is a major milestone in advancing this key infrastructure project — one of the most important investments for Greece and its people. We are pleased and say thank you to the Greek parliament and State for this vote of confidence. We are truly committed to making this a win-win project for Greece and its people, for the tourism industry and overall economy, for tourists from around the world, as well as other users of the 14 regional gateways”, Mr Zinell said.
Noting that Fraport Greece is already undertaking comprehensive planning for its tasks at the 14 regional airports, Mr. Zinell said: “The relevant parties can now move full speed ahead toward the implementation phase”. During the 40-year concession period, Fraport Greece will be responsible for the operation, maintenance and upgrading of the 14 Greek regional airports.
At the time of the project closing, full payment of the 1.234 billion euros upfront concession fee will be made by Fraport Greece in tandem with the takeover of operations at the airports. Along with the upfront concession payment, an annual fixed concession fee of 22.9 million euros will be paid. Under the contract, some 330 million euros will be invested by Fraport Greece in improving the airports during the first years up to 2020.
“Well-managed airports around the world have proven to serve as economic engines, which is also a goal for the Greek regional airports, with anticipated economic spin-off effects for industries such as hospitality, travel services, retail, construction and various services”, Mr Zinell underlined.
“The positive response already received from business leaders and other stakeholders is very exciting for this shared journey into the future”, he added.
The Greek regional airports in question include three mainland gateways (Thessaloniki, Aktion, and Kavala) and 11 airports on Greek islands (Chania on Crete, Corfu, Kefalonia, Kos, Mykonos, Mytilini, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos and Zakynthos).
Together, these airports received more than 23 million passengers in 2015 (up 6 percent year-on-year). Around 73 percent of these passengers are international travelers.