GMR to develop Greece airport

GMR to develop Greece airport

GMR group has won the bid to develop and operate a greenfield airport in Greece giving a boost to its aviation business.

GMR has partnered Greek company GEK Terna to develop the airport at Heraklion on island of Crete. This will be the group's second overseas project (GMR runs Mactan Cebu project in Philippines. Earlier it ran airports in Turkey and Maldives) and the award win comes close on heels of a revival in its airport business.

"GMR will be the designated airport operator in the consortium and will hold minimum 10 per cent stake in the consortium. The rest of the equity will be held by GEK Terna and Greece government. The construction will start by early 2018 and equity contribution will be required once the construction starts. The total project cost will be 530 million Euros. The airport construction would start by early 2018 and will be completed in 5 years from the financial closure. The airport will have an operational capacity of 15 million passengers annually," GMR group said in an emailed response. The project concession period is for 35 years including construction phase of five years and there is no concession fee payable to the government.

Crete is the largest and most visited island in Greece with a current passenger traffic of seven million passengers. The existing Heraklion airport will be shut once the new airport is completed.

Srinivas Bommidala, business chairman, GMR Airports said, "This new airport will definitely boost the tourism industry and aid the growth of international tourists that Greece has been witnessing over the past couple of years. The airport is in line with the asset lite strategy we have adopted for overseas expansion and will see GMR participate in project management and commercial management in addition to airport operations."

Sidharath Kapur, President, GMR Airports added, "This selection reinforces the position of GMR Airports as a major global airport operator. This will be GMR Group's second foray into Europe after having developed Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport. Having been selected, we expect to complete necessary documentation and concession signing over the next few months.

GMR group runs airports in Delhi, Hyderabad and Philippines and has also won the bid to develop Mopa airport in Goa.

GMR Infrastructure on Friday reported a turnaround in the current year with a profit after tax of Rs 9 crore in FY17 from a loss of Rs 2,664 crore in FY16. The return to black was spurred by good performance in its airport segment.