The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed two loan agreements worth €280m (US$300m) in total with airport operator Fraport Greece to help finance upgrades to 14 regional Greek airports.
The EIB loan will be used for the financing of immediate development works at the 14 airports, including the refurbishment and modernization of terminals, and the improvement of safety and airfield infrastructure. The investments will support the development of the tourism industry, a key driver of the Greek economy.
Jonathan Taylor, vice president for EIB, said, “The EIB is pleased to be investing in this nationally and regionally important project. It will create jobs, and provide a major boost for tourism – a sector that has proved its importance, and resilience, during the crisis. The EU Bank will support further investments in Greece that promote growth and help create sustainable and high quality employment.”
Pierre Moscovici, European commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said, “Modern infrastructure will play a crucial role in supporting Greece’s economic recovery. This requires sustained investment to ensure that it achieves its full potential to create jobs and spur growth. This agreement, with the support of the Commission, succeeds in mobilizing private investment to finance upgrades to growth-enabling infrastructure that will support, for example, tourism and mobility. This is a prime example of the type of investments the European Commission is committed to support, as they bring growth and development.”
Fraport Greece will pay €1.2bn (US$1.3bn) to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund for the two 40-year concessions split between the 14 Greek airports. The airports included in the concessions are Aktion, Chania, Kavala, Kefalonia, Kerkyra, Kos, Mitilini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Thessaloniki and Zakynthos. The airports served approximately 25.2 million passengers in 2016.