German airport operator Fraport and Greek energy firm Copelouzos Group have reportedly been awarded a 40-year concession to operate 14 Greek airports for a fee of €1.2bn (US$1.3bn). The operator was announced as the preferred investor for the bid in November 2014 but changes to the Greek government had created some doubt as to whether the project would materialize.
A report by CNN Money has stated that the left-wing Syriza government has now resurrected and approved the deal. It states that some members of Syriza criticized the deal as hurried, describing it as an ‘economic crime’.
Fraport will allegedly invest more than €330m (US$370m) in developing the airports in an effort to boost tourism in the country. The airports affected include Thessaloniki, Aktion, Kavala, Chania (Crete), Cephalonia, Corfu, Kos, Mitilini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, and Zakynthos.
Speaking about the bid in November 2014, Dr Stefan Schulte, executive board chairman for Fraport, said, “The Greek regional airports add another airport investment with dynamic development potential. The choice for Fraport underscores our position as a leading global airport manager. Our extensive know-how gained over many decades will contribute to expanding and strengthening the competitive position of the Greek regional airports.”