Montenegro to put airports up for concession


The Montenegrin government has adopted plans to put its two international airports in Podgorica and Tivat up for concession. A public call for the expression of interest is expected to be issued soon. The Montenegrin Minister for Transportation and Maritime Affairs, Osman Nurković, said the two airports will be offered up for a concession ranging between 25 and thirty years. "The airports will be offered to credible, experienced and proven global concessionaires. This way we can make a great deal for the airports and the state", Mr Nurković said. Turkey's TAV Airports Holding, which has become a global brand in airport construction projects and operations, held talks with Mr Nurković on two different occasions late last year in order to examine suitable concession models.

The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Duško Marković, previously said, "Several well established companies have already shown serious interest for the airports. The concession is vital in order for Tivat Airport to follow through with its plans to build a new passenger terminal, extend its runway and overhaul its taxiways". Last year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was set to approve a fifty million euro loan for the development of Tivat Airport, however, it requested for the Montenegrin government to guarantee the airport would remain in state hands over a period of ten years following the completion of the expansion project. Mr Marković's administration was unable to agree to such terms.

Montenegro's opposition parties have slammed the government's concession plans, noting that operator Airports of Montenegro is one of the country's most profitable public enterprises. It recorded profit before tax of 5.2 million euros last year. Montenegro's two airports handled a combined total of 1.3 million passengers during the January - July period. Last month alone, the two welcomed 422.220 travellers through their doors. Last Sunday, Tivat Airport broke its 24-hour record by handling 11.233 passengers, while Podgorica saw its busiest day in a decade on July 22 with 7.670 travellers.

Comments

  1. So another one bites the dust. Now we have under concession or privatization Zagreb, Ljubljana, Skopje, Pristina, Maribor, Portoroz, Ohrid and Belgrade.

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    1. A gde imas stedljivu i cuvarnu vladu? Trazili ste demokratiju, eto vam je, sve prodadoste ili zatvoriste: puteve i aerodrome.

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    2. @anon 09:13 101% tacno. Kuka se kada nema prihoda i gubi se novac, kuka se na koncesionare - koji ustvari su podstanari u sustini. Nisu vlasnici ali drzava ima prihod od njih. Ali tacno sve se svodi na tadasnju/danasnju vladu. Oni odlucuju.

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    3. Why sad? These airports have much more traffic than they had before privatisation.

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    4. Sarajevo, Dubrovnik and Split will be the only bigger airports left without a concession.

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    5. Will there be anything left in ex-Yu that hasn't been sold :(

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  2. Will they offer the two in a single package or separately?

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    1. Single package. No one in their right mind would take only one of the two.

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    2. Why not? Two different operators would be good! Competition would be excellent and very welcome by the travelling public.

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    3. It will be a single package. The dual airport system is working quite well in Montenegro because you have Tivat for seasonal traffic and Podgorica for year-round more diaspora oriented traffic.

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  3. I think these two airports have a lot of potential but Tivat can no longer grow without a new terminal. A real shame we won't see any construction there any time soon.

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    1. Tivat is a mess during the summer. Expansion is long overdue.

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    2. Unfortunately, it is now unrealistic for them to start until 2019/2020 and by the time they finish it will be 2022/2023. Best case scenario.

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  4. Fraport or Vinci would be great.

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  5. We already have French, Chinese, Turks and Germans running airports in ex-Yu. Let's see who comes next.

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    Replies
    1. Russians also in the past wanted to get concession of Montenegro airports.

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  6. They should also think of expanding Podgorica. I was there last year, the airport is so small and they don't let you go through passport check into the departure lounge until an hour before your flight because there is nowhere to sit.

    Also the mafiosi deal they have with the taxi company is crazy. Only one taxi company is allowed to drive you from the airport and they charge a fixed rate of 15 euros to the city. You can go with any taxi company back to the airport and the actual price from the city is just 6 euros.

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    1. Weil 15 EUR to the airport is really cheap :) I paid last time 13 EUR for less than 2km in Budva. Once and never again. I guess they rip off every tourist, taxi driver was a giant bodybuilder so u can't even dare to claim this can't cost more than 3 or 4EUR. I heard (afterwards) that anyway 80% of taxameters are manipulated in MNE.

      Btw, I dunno what happened to the plan to build one new, large airport between Podgorica and Tivat/Budva area? Hard to imagine it is cheaper to have two outdated smaller airports that need larger investments, upgrades and refreshments.

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  7. What price could they get?

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    1. My guess is similar to what Macedonia got for SKP+OHD.

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    2. Sorry but Podgorica and Tivat have more traffic then Skopje and Ohrid had when they were given for concession. They also have newer terminals and they have a national airline serving them unlike SKP and OHD back then. So I think they could fetch much more.

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    3. +1 last anon

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    4. well if they have newer terminals ... TAV will not need to invest 100mio as it was case in MKD

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    5. What kind of growth can be expected in mid term from a tiny country such as Montenegro?
      They should be lucky if they get a deal like in SKP

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    6. It has a lot of potential. Tourism numbers going up. Country has political stability, still a lot of space for expansion of low cost airlines and the country has a lot of legacy carriers serving it.

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  8. They should sell it to SHS Aviation, the guys that run Maribor Airport. They could turn the airport into a hub for Chinese passengers :D

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    1. lol good one

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    2. On a more serious note, Chinese could be interested.

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  9. This would be a good opportunity for TAV to expand its portfolio in the Balkans.

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    1. I am sure TAV will be very beneficial for these airports.

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    2. If TAV did something similar in Podgorica to what they did in Skopje, that would be amazing

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    3. Making it a Wizz Air base?

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    4. Why not? That would be terrific.

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  10. State will have to find a solution for YM before it makes an airport transaction. YM owes millions to the airport and has no way to repay them. State owned airports don't care that much because they are all part of the same family but trust me a foreign operator will.

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    1. They will simply right off the debt before the airports are sold. Problem solved. Welcome the the Balkans.

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  11. Good move. Hope they do the same with the airline.

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    1. Now that Etihad is out of its equity investment strategy, no one wants to buy and bankrupt airline.

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  12. Airports of Montenegro is one of the most profitable companies in Crna Gora. Why would you sell it?

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    1. Because they need the money to cover losses of unprofitable state companies like Montenegro Airlines

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  13. I was against airport privatization but after I read that they are using airport profit to take out loans for MGX I fully support getting the airports of state hands.

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  14. Podgorica has hit a million passengers per year. It needs to expand. The terminal is small.

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  15. Interesting. Maybe the future concessionaire gets Podgorica and Tivat and is obliged to complete the Berane Airport project too. If I am not mistaken TAV has to build a cargo airport in Stip in Macedonia under the concession agreement.

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  16. Not surprised about TAV interest. They will not be managing Istanbul's new airport and they will for sure look to expand their international portfolio to compensate for it.

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  17. The only state-owned company that is profitable, but nevertheless, it needs to be privatized.

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  18. Good news for Montenegro. These airports should definitely get a professional management.

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  19. Airport concessions is a normal worldwide. Governments are simply incompetent when it comes to managing airports because they are not usually specialised in this. Pure example: Greece giving almost all its airports to Fraport.

    Serbia did an excellent move by choosing the Frenchies.

    Slovenia benefited a lot from Fraport, we can see the results.

    N Macedonia also has now 2 modern and efficient airports.

    ZAG has probably one of the most modern airports in the Balkans.

    Bulgaria's coastal airports have developed significantly thanks to Fraport and SOF's fate will be known this autumn.

    I think BiH is next, SJJ needs a serious intervention. We all saw how TZL grew like crazy.

    Lastly, I really hope that GoS will take care of INI and not chase away the airlines.

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    1. Governments can be successful in running airports, actually the quoted Fraport is owned and controlled mainly by the City of Frankfurt and Hesse state.

      Greece has not decided to gave away the mainly profitable airports to Fraport in a situation they would need sustainable income to their state budget, they were fotfor to do so by the EU/ECB.

      However, surely private companies could be beneficial for YU airports, because they just keep the relatives of the politicians out of management... But it should not be seen as an automatism.

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  20. Excellent! We should get even more LCCs

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    1. Yeah because concessionaire brought a lot of those to Zagreb...

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  21. Bravo Crna Gora!

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  22. Concessionaire might bring down fees. Podgorica and Tivat are quite expensive for LCCs.

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    1. This is what Ryanair said about the market last year. "The expense of flying one passenger from Europe to Montenegro is much higher than, say, to Cyprus".

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  23. yesterday i flown through tivat. i saw more comfortable bus stations

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    1. That is truth but you saw how small airport is....air conditions and larger building for sure are not the right reason for concession

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  24. Government wants to give airport cause they do not want to upgrade terminal building we all know that is not big investment cause profit from airport is so high that Montenegro can resolve the problem alone without considering concession...

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