Novaport submits bid to operate Belgrade Airport

Russian company Novaport is amongthe bidders in a tender to operate Belgrade airport. The Serbian government is offering a 25-year concession deal for Nikola Tesla Airport ((Photo by Belgrade Airport)

Novaport, a Russian airport operator, has expressed interest in acquiring 100% in Serbia’s Belgrade Airport. The company has submitted a bid for the tender, Board chairman Roman Trotsenko told Rambler news service. If it wins, Novaport is prepared to invest $250 million into the facility’s development.

The airport, which serves Serbia’s capital city, could be used as a connection hub for Russian tourists traveling to destinations in Central, Western and Eastern Europe, Trotsenko said: “Russians have always had warm feelings for Belgrade, and we expect the Russian tourist traffic to the city to continue growing.”

Also bidding for the deal is Russian airport operator Airports of Regions, which operates airports in Russia’s cities of Yekaterinburg, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, and Saratov. Fraport AG of Germany, a partner in the Northern Capital Gateway consortium which runs St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport, is another bidder. The results of the tender are expected to be announced in two weeks.

The winner of the 25-year deal will run Belgrade airport jointly with its current operator, Nikola Tesla Aerodrome Belgrade. The partners will share the concession rights, financing and management of the facility.

According to Russian Aviation Insider’s sources, Serbia is indeed quite popular with Russian tourists. It shared the 12th position with Montenegro among the most popular charter destinations in 2015. The two countries served over 113,000 Russian passengers that yeat.

Belgrade airport handled 4.925 million passengers in 2016, up 3% on 2015.

Novaport has been actively buying new airport assets across Russia. Last year it acquired a stake in Mineralnye Vody and added Kemerovo and Kaliningrad to its portfolio, which now comprises 12 airports. The company is also participating in the project to renovate Irkutsk airport.

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