After successfully developing airports in the Male and Istanbul, GMR Airports – a subsidiary of GMR infrastructure and power – has emerged as the successful bidder to develop, manage and operate the new international airport in Crete, Greece, in partnership with Greek infrastructure major Terna S.A. – a wholly owned subsidiary of Gek Terna Group. The concession period for the greenfield project will be 35 years including five years that the company will take to develop the phase one of the new airport. According to the company, the existing Heraklion airport is handling over six million passengers annually and is facing capacity constraint. The new Kastelli Airport, once completed, will replace Heraklion airport as the major airport in the island.
“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,” said, Sidharath Kapur, president, GMR Airports. GMR airport also operates airports in Delhi and Hyderabad in a joint venture with Airports Authority of India (AAI). The company also developed the Male airport and concessional agreement of which was wrongfully cancelled by the Maldivian government. The company received a compensation of $450 million dollars as a result in an arbitration.
“We are excited about the project and the opportunity to partner with GEK Terna in Greece. 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,” Srinivas Bommidala, said, business chairman, GMR Airports. In FY 17 the company’s gross debt reduced from Rs 19,586 crore from Rs 37480 crore at the end of FY 16.