Greek tourism leaders welcome airports privatisation

Greek tourism leaders welcome airports privatisation

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Greek Tourism Confederation SETE has welcomed a deal to privatise 14 of the country’s regional airports, handling up to 22 million passengers a year.

The Greek government signed a deal transferring control of the airports to Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport and Greek private contractor Copelouzos at the end of last week.

The 40-year agreement includes the airports of Mykonos, Kos, Santorini, Kefalonia, Samos, Thessaloniki, Corfu, Rhodes and Chania (Crete).

On top of an initial payment of €1.2 billion, Fraport and its Greek partner will pay an annual operating gee of €23 million and have pledged to invest €330 million by 2020 in upgrading the airports.

The privatisation deal had been close to completion in January, but was frozen when the Syriza government came to office before talks resumed following a fresh election in September.

Transport minister Christos Spirtzis said the deal had been signed “with a great deal of pain”.

However, the tourism confederation welcomed the agreement as “expected to contribute to the upgrading of regional airports, which require significant investment”.

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