by Kevin Rozario (London, United Kingdom)
An invitation for expressions of interest (EOI) and tender submissions was issued by Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations (HCAP) in mid-May for advisory services related to Kalamata airport (KLX).
For optimistic investors eyeing the next round of Greek airport privatizations the move may get the ball rolling for 23 regional and local gateways – all 100% owned by the government – to go under the hammer.
Concessioning off these airports* – a mixed bag that includes several that need upgrading to meet international standards – was first mooted in 2018 but there have been delays in getting started. The COVID19 pandemic has not helped given that most of these airports are “inextricably linked to tourist development” according to HCAP.
KLX is at the southern tip of the Greek mainland, south-west of Athens and a tourism gateway to the Peloponnese peninsula. It is one of the largest Greek airports operated by the state through the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA). A prerequisite for any new operator will be to develop the airport in order to expand tourism in the region.
In 2019, KLX processed 341,000 passengers of whom 317,000 were international and it was ranked the 16th busiest airport in Greece according to data from the HCAA. Local sources say that the Constantakopoulos family, which controls 75% of the Costa Navarino tourism complex nearby, could be an interested party when the airport is tendered.