New Pilots

Greece Signs EUR€1.2 Bln Airport Deal With Fraport

2015 12 14

The Greek government has signed a EUR€1.2 billion (USD$1.32 billion) contract with Fraport to lease and manage 14 regional airports.

The deal had been under negotiation before the Syriza party won a general election in January and froze asset sales, but Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reactivated it as part of the country's third bailout, which was approved in August.

Fraport and its Greek partner, energy firm Copelouzos, will lease and manage 14 provincial airports in popular tourist islands, including Corfu and Santorini, for 40 years. It will also invest EUR€330 million by 2020, to upgrade facilities.

"Fraport and Copelouzos have remained steadfastly committed to the Greek regional airports - a win-win project for Greece and its people," Fraport's chairman Stefan Schulte said in a statement.

Tourism is the battered economy's key cash earner, accounting for about a fifth of gross domestic product. Despite the economic downturn, the sector has fared well.

The Fraport-led consortium will take over the operations of the airports in autumn 2016, when it will also pay the agreed sum, it said in a statement. In total, it will invest more than EUR€1.4 billion over the term of the lease, HRADF said.

The consortium, where Fraport will have a majority stake, will also pay an annual fixed rental fee of about EUR€23 million.