Bulgaria’s Govt to Discuss Granting Concession on Sofia Airport

Finance | May 17, 2016, Tuesday // 08:40|  views

Sofia Airport. File photo by BGNES

A draft decision for granting concession on Sofia international airport is on the agenda of a meeting of the Bulgarian government on Tuesday.

The cabinet plans to seek an upfront payment of about BGN 600 M (EUR 300 M) from the future concessionaire to repay debt of Bulgarian State Railways company (BDZ), Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski told public radio broadcaster BNR over the weekend.

Granting concession on Sofia Airport is one of the options to repay some BGN 460 M of outstanding debt of the struggling state railways company.

The use of proceeds from the concession fee on Sofia Airport to repay debt of BDZ constitutes state aid and needs clearance from the European Commission. Bulgaria expects the EU’s executive to rule on the government’s plan in the autumn of 2016, Moskovski told BNR.

Several foreign-based companies have expressed interest in being granted concession on Sofia Airport, Bulgarian news daily Standart reported in March. They are Munich Airport, Spain’s Ferrovial and an unnamed South Korean company, according to Standart.

Passenger numbers at Sofia Airport had increased by 13% year-on-year in April, reaching 367,696, Bulgaria’s largest international airport announced last week.

There was an increase of 14.7% in the number of passengers on scheduled international flights who form 96% of total passenger throughput. Passengers on domestic flights increased by 7.7% year-on-year last month.

A total of 4,082 inbound and outgoing aircraft were serviced at Sofia Airport in April, an increase of 11.7% compared with the same month last year. The number of scheduled international flights grew by 15.3% and domestic flights increased by 10.3%.

Cargo and mail shipments processed at Sofia Airport increased by almost 50.6% last month compared with April 2015, reaching record 2,173 tonnes due to the larger volumes carried on cargo aircraft, as well as the growth in scheduled passengers flights.

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Tags: Moskovski, state railways, BDZ, debt, concession, Sofia Airport, Bulgaria, passengers


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