Friday September 19, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Concern over usage cost of privatized airports

By Alexandra Kassimi

The ongoing privatization process concerning Greece’s regional airports carries the inherent risk of leaving the country with dozens of expensive small terminals.

The government’s plan to abolish the existing airport tax and replace it with a new levy whose level is yet to be determined initially appeared satisfactory to the air industry, whose officials thought that would have spelt the end of the infamous charge. However as things are shaping up, and as long as the actual level of the new levy remains up in the air, concerns are on the rise.

Notably, the companies participating in the regional airports’ sell-off procedure are keen to find out the rate of the levy so they can draft their sustainability reports.

The privatization timetable foresees the binding bids for regional airports being submitted by the end of June, although no one can rule out a tender extension.

The law foresees the new levy apply both to Athens International Airport (AIA) and the privatized terminals, whose cost of use will likely increase considerably. At the same time foreign air companies active in Greece stress that the lack of clarity in the privatized airports’ terms of operation could generate considerable problems.

Concerns over the level of the new charge stem from the expenditure it will have to cover: According to the law concerning the sell-off of regional airports, the new levy will need to fund the operational costs of the airports that will remain in state hands, otherwise they will have to shut down.

Still, it remains unclear how many of the country’s airports will be privatized, meaning that the calculations to work out the extent of the new charge cannot be made. Of the country’s 37 airports, estimates suggest that between 13 and 22 could pass into private hands. For the same reason, it is also unknown how many terminals will continue to require state funding or how much money the new tax will bring in. In addition, the new charge will also have to cover the funding of so-called unpopular routes to remote parts of the country that are subsidized by the state.

The law provides for the level of charges to be monitored in a bid to avoid a repetition of the phenomenon seen at AIA, which has particularly high usage costs. It also puts a limit on the profit margin from air revenues that contractors would not able to exceed. Both provisions have predictably met with strong reactions from prospective investors.

Developments are also expected in AIA’s privatization process. Sources say that the interested investors will submit their offers in early 2015. In the meantime state sell-off fund TAIPED is expected to ask Canadian fund PSP Investments, which holds a 26.7 percent stake in AIA and its management, to inform Athens whether it intends to increase its holding.

According to sources, candidate investors will reserve the option of signing a contract based on the current one that expires in 2026, which will also include an extension option, as the state requires. The period up to 2026 is considered too short for a company to make any substantial investments, therefore there is a strong likelihood that the AIA investment will come with the extension of the current contract.

ekathimerini.com , Monday June 16, 2014 (20:48)  
OPAP, Intralot bid for Greek horse race betting licence
Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
NBG-owned Finansbank looks into possible secondary public offering
ECB eyes banks’ capital quality as target for supervisory power
Minister calls on Tsipras to clarify position on public sector checks
Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to publicly state his position on the government’s efforts to review public sector contracts and roo...
SYRIZA demands ND reaction to new claims of Baltakos contact with Golden Dawn
SYRIZA has called on New Democracy to respond to a newspaper report that claimed the former cabinet secretary Panayiotis Baltakos advised Golden Dawn MPs on how they should vote. Leftist MP ...
Inside News
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
High stakes after the Scottish vote
We will soon know whether the Scots voted for their country’s independence or whether they will remain citizens of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” What was alread...
EDITORIAL
Breathing room
Even Greece’s biggest critics find it hard to deny that the debt-hit country has achieved an unprecedented fiscal turnaround within a very short period of time. Sure, progress in promoting t...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Minister calls on Tsipras to clarify position on public sector checks
2. SYRIZA demands ND reaction to new claims of Baltakos contact with Golden Dawn
3. Claims that high profile personalities escape punishment to be probed
4. OPAP, Intralot bid for Greek horse race betting licence
5. Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
6. NBG-owned Finansbank looks into possible secondary public offering
more news
Today
This Week
1. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
2. ECB eyes banks’ capital quality as target for supervisory power
3. Samaras heads to Azerbaijan for two-day visit
4. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
5. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
6. Homeless man falls to death from shelter in central Athens
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.