India’s GMR Airports has confirmed the concession commencement date for design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of Greece’s new Kastelli Airport in Heraklion, Crete.
Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis laid the foundation stone of the airport, marking the beginning of the project.
GMR Airports, along with its Greek partner GEK Terna, signed the concession agreement for 35 years, including phase one construction, which will last five years.
The consortium intends to invest over €500m (US$546m) in the development of the new airport. The project will be funded through a mix of equity, accruals from the existing airport, and funding from the government of Greece.
Greece is one of the leading international tourist destinations, attracting nearly 33 million tourists per annum. Crete is the largest and most visited island in Greece.
According to Srinivas Bommidala, chairman of energy and international airports at GMR Group, GMR is the first Indian airport operator to win a bid to operate a European airport.
“Along with our partner GEK Terna, we aim to deliver an airport of global standards which will be a matter of pride for Greece,” Bommidala said.
GMR Airports has a portfolio of five airports including India’s busiest, Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi; Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport; and Mactan Cebu International Airport, which it operates in partnership with Megawide in the Philippines.
GMR is also developing a greenfield airport at Mopa in Goa.
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