German airport operator Fraport and its Greek partner Copelouzos Group has today (December 14) signed an agreement with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) for the 40-year concessions to operate, manage, develop and maintain 14 regional airports in Greece.
The transaction is expected to close in autumn 2016 where full payment of the €1.2bn (US$1.3bn) concession fee will be made by Fraport in tandem with the transfer of operations for the 14 airports.
Combined, the 14 Greek regional airports served approximately 22 million passengers in 2014, with international travelers accounting for 77% of total traffic. The airports affected include Thessaloniki, Aktion, Kavala, Chania (Crete), Cephalonia, Corfu, Kos, Mitilini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, and Zakynthos.
Fraport will have a majority share in the concession companies, while Copelouzos will hold the remaining stake. Actual ownership of the airports will be retained by the Greek government throughout the concession term. Along with the upfront concession payment, Fraport will pay an annual fixed concession fee of €22.9m (US$25m). In addition, the consortium is required to invest a total of €330m (US$362m) in airport infrastructure until 2020.
Dr Stefan Schulte, executive board chairman, Fraport, said, “Since being selected as preferred bidder more than a year ago, Fraport and Copelouzos have remained steadfastly committed to the Greek regional airports – a win-win project for Greece and its people. The project underscores the extensive know how that Fraport will be able to provide at these 14 aviation gateways, which are vital for Greece’s economy and, in particular, its huge international tourism sector. We are proud that the Greek government and the HRADF have entrusted Fraport-Copelouzos with the task of strengthening the competitive position of these airports in the decades to come. We would like to thank both the HRADF and Greek government for their professional cooperation in reaching this milestone agreement.”
Dimitris Copelouzos, founder and chairman of Copelouzos Group, said, “The project for the 14 Greek regional airports is one of the largest and most beneficial investments based on national and social criteria. Undoubtedly, this investment is a basis for boosting the Greek economy, especially during this critical period for the country. The benefits at the national and regional level are multiple and the cooperation of the two companies is a guarantee for successfully supporting tourism as the heavy industry of Greece, reinforcing competitiveness of the economy and creating new jobs.”