Airport operators Fraport and TAV Airports have won the bidding to operate Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey, a popular tourist hub. 

The joint venture between the two companies placed the highest total bid of €7.25 billion ($8.2 billion) for the 25-year concession, Germany-based Fraport announced in a statement on December 1, 2021.  

Fraport, which operates Frankfurt airport, and TAV already manage Antalya and their current concession agreement expires at the end of 2026. AYT is the second busiest airport in Turkey outside of Istanbul. 

The new concession, which will see Fraport and TAV operate AYT into the 2050s, is set to be signed in the first quarter of 2022, pending approval by Turkish competition and airport authorities, and commence in 2027. Fraport said 25% of the bidding price is due to be paid within 90 days of the contract closing.  

“We delivered a convincing bid backed by our many years of successfully operating and developing Antalya Airport as one of the world’s premier tourism hubs,” Fraport chief executive Stefan Schulte commented. “Together with our partner TAV, we look forward to continuing this dedication to customer service, innovation and operational excellence in the decades to come.” 

Before the new concession begins, the partners need to finish certain infrastructure projects, including the expansion of Terminal 2 and the domestic terminal, plus new facilities for VIP passengers.  

AYT served a record 35 million passengers in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic collapsed in 2020 to 9.7 million. Passengers have been returning since the summer of 2021, however, and the airport served approximately 20 million passengers in January-October 2021.