Belgrade Airport: Call for submission of concession applications launched

After several announcements, the Serbian government and Nikola Tesla Airport have launched a public call for allocation of a 25-year-concession for the airport.

Interested bidders have two weeks to submit their request to participate in the concession procedure.

The public call, which has been published on the airport’s official website, says that the selected concessionaire will have to undertake to fund construction and reconstruction work, properly maintain the airport’s infrastructure and operate the airport.

The concessionaire will also have to register as legal entity in Serbia. What the selected company will get in return is all the rights to run and maintain not only the airport, but its assets / real estate too. Once the concession agreement expires (after 25 years), the Serbian government will regain ownership over the airport.

Back in August, Serbian PM, Aleksandar Vucic called Nikola Tesla Airport “a golden goose”, alluding to its profitability and financial potential. He also said that the concession deal would be on the table for 350 million EUR. “Plus, there is the concession fee that could range between 10 and 15 million EUR per year, so you do the math. We have turned the airport into the golden goose of the Balkans, not only Serbia”, the PM was quoted as saying.

Before that, in April 2015, Vucic said that airport was worth 250 million EUR, stating that the Serbian government would ask between 500 and 600 million EUR for the concession rights.

The media have been reporting that eight companies have already expressed interest either to manage, or to forge partnership with the airport.

They are – Vinci from France (which owns eight airports in Portugal), Germany-based Fraport (which owns Ljubljana Airport), French company Bouygues S.A. (which manages Zagreb Airport), two companies from the United Arab Emirates and three from China.

The concession procedure stipulates that those companies that manage or operate airports within the 450km radius from Belgrade are not allowed to participate in the concession allocation which immediately eliminates the companies ADP (one of the concessionaires of Pleso Airport, Zagreb), and the Turkish conglomerate TAV that manages airports in Macedonia.

The prospective bidders are required to already run an airport that has had at least 5 million passengers annually in the last 10 years, that it owns assets worth over 500 million EUR, and that it has available financial resources.

(InsajderNet, 12.02.2017)

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