Year In Review

CIS & Middle East • Year in Review • 2018

Saudi Arabia – Dec 26/18 – Re-concession of Jeddah Targeted for Latter Half of 2019

General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is said to be readying for the re-concession of Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport to a new private operator in the latter half of 2019. Back in February, GACA terminated the original concession with the Changi-led consortium for undisclosed reasons, however it is believed the local partner fell out of favor with Saudi leadership.

Uzbekistan – Nov 20/18 – Government Eyes Private-sector Investment in Country’s Airport Network

The Uzbekistan government is reported to be considering private-sector participation in its airports, in a concerted effort to elevate service levels and increase capacity/traffic. As Central Asia’s most land-locked country, through this initiative Uzbekistan aims to expand its aviation sector, develop international connectivity and boost its post-soviet economic prospects.

Russia – Oct 29/18 – Qatar Airways Front-runner to Span Up Minority Stake in Vnukovo Airport Concession

A concession deal between Moscow and Doha for a minority stake in Vnukovo Airport is anticipated within the first quarter 2019. A 25% share in Vnukovo is reportedly up for grabs, with Qatar Airways being the front-runner amongst vying foreign investors. Moscow’s third busiest airport by passenger volume, Vnukovo handled 18m passengers in 2017.

Turkey – Oct 28/18 – President Inaugurates Opening of Istanbul’s Ambitious New “Mega Hub” Airport  

President Erdogan presided over the opening of the first phase of Istanbul’s new “mega-hub” airport which will eventually include six runways with the capacity to handle 90m passengers/year. At the inauguration ceremony, Erdogan stated that the existing Ataturk Airport will remain operational, however all commercial flights will be relocated to new Istanbul Airport.

Turkey – Aug 12/18 – First Phase of Istanbul’s New International Gateway Airport Set to Open in October

Istanbul’s new mega-hub airport project is rapidly reaching completion, with the first of four phases set to open in late October. Occupying an area of roughly 75 million square meters, the new hub is located 35km north of İstanbul. At full build-out, the six-runway site will have the capacity to handle 90 million passengers/year, serving 300+ destinations.

Russia – May 21 – Private Operator of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport to Invest in Airfield Infrastructure

The Russian government has signed-off on a concession agreement with the private operator of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for financing expansion at the country’s busiest airport. The deal marks the first time the Russian state has granted private investors rights to develop state-owned airfield infrastructure (ie: runways and taxiways) under a revenue share model.

Oman – May 20/18 – IPO Considered for Oman Airports Management Company

The Sultanate of Oman is considering sale of a partial stake in state-owned Oman Airports Management Company, the operator of Muscat and a variety of local/regional airports across the country. The privatization, targeted to take place by 2020, is likely to take the form of an IPO however the government has not yet taken a final decision on timing or approach.

Kuwait – Apr 30/18 – New Kuwaiti World Class Airport on the Drawing Board, Under PPP Framework

A new world-class 25m passenger airport is under consideration by the Kuwaiti government to meet the country’s sustained growth in airport traffic. Planned for northern Kuwait, the USD12b development is proposed to be structured under a PPP with the government putting up the land and the private sector engaged to build, operate and manage the project.

Saudi Arabia – Apr 20/18 – Saudi Puts the Brakes on Riyadh Airport Privatization Plan 

With the cloud of the recent Jeddah concession termination looming large, Saudi Arabia put the brakes on privatizing Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport, the second biggest passenger airport in the kingdom. Last year Saudi Arabia announced aggressive plans to privatize its entire network of airports in a drive to increase efficiency and reduce fiscal pressures.

Turkey – Mar 06/18 – ADP & TAV Make Parallel Moves to Acquire Stakes in Antalya’s Airport Concession Company

In separate back-to-back moves, earlier in the month TAV Airports announced purchase of 49% of IC ictas which holds a 49% stake in ICF Antalya, while Groupe ADP went public shortly thereafter regarding its agreement to buy a 49% ICF Antalya. According to the purchase agreement TAV will have 50% dividend rights and co-control of the company.

Saudi Arabia – Feb 22/18 – Saudi Terminates Jeddah Deal with Changi

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has terminated its 20-year concession agreement with Changi Airports International for operation of Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, which GACA awarded in spring 2017. What prompted to move still the subject of speculation. Changi has asserted that RFP requirements were strictly observed.

Russia – Feb 03/18 – Sheremetyevo Considers Minority Sale to “Strategist”

The private shareholders of Russia’s busiest airport, Sheremetyevo International, are reported to be considering sale of a 10% stake in the venture to a “strategist” investor. Currently the two main shareholders are Sheremetyevo Holding LLC (66%) and Rosimushchestvo (30.43%). At present, the company’s total capitalization is pegged at USD$1.8b.