BUSINESS

AIA lands new passenger record

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Privatizations, Transport

Athens International Airport is posting record figures ahead of the invitation for the submission of binding offers for 30 percent of its shares.

AIA – whose official title is Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos – registered a historic record of 25.57 million passengers in 2019 – 1.4 million passengers or 6 percent more than in 2018.

That was also twice the 12.9 million passengers who used the country’s biggest airport just seven years earlier, in 2012.

This is exclusively attributed to the 8.6 percent year-on-year rise in international traffic, as domestic passengers only registered a marginal increase of 0.3 percent last year.

The promotion of Athens as a competitive international tourism destination, following the joint efforts of AIA, national carrier Aegean, the City of Athens, the Tourism Ministry and local hoteliers, is constantly adding new passengers to the airport’s traffic.

This growth momentum comes at an ideal time, as state sell-off fund TAIPED is expected to start the second stage of the tender for the concession of a 30 percent stake in the airport company in the next few days with the submission of binding bids.

The company’s excellent fundamentals have attracted 10 candidates to the tender, all of them major names in their sector.

The 10 suitors for the stake include Australian capital management company First State, which belongs to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, KKR in a consortium with French constructor Egis, US company Global Infrastructure Partners, Spanish construction firm Ferrovial, APG (one of the biggest pension fund management companies in Northern Europe), France’s Groupe ADP, the French multinational construction firm Vinci, the Macquarie investment group, AviAlliance (owned by Canadian fund PSP, which controls 40 percent of AIA and its management), and finally Ardian, which was formerly known as AXA Private Equity.

All 10 entrants are expected to be short-listed for the second phase of the tender, sources say.

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