Almaty Airport may be sold to Turkish-French TAV Airports Holding

NUR-SULTAN – Istanbul-based TAV Airports Holding may purchase Almaty Airport, currently owned by private company Venus Airport Investment B.V, said Kazakh Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Beibit Atamkulov.

Almaty airport.

The airport, built in 1935, is the largest in Kazakhstan. It accounts for half of the country’s passenger and 68 percent of its cargo traffic. 

The airfield, with the capacity of eight-ten flights per hour, is currently connected to 36 international and 18 domestic destinations. In 2018, 5.7 million people used the airport’s services. 

“Negotiations are currently underway with one Turkish company. I cannot comment at the moment; the deal is not finished yet. Almaty Airport is owned by a private company; therefore, the implementation is underway. These moments need to be agreed. The civil aviation committee is carrying out the procedures,” said Atamkulov. 

Founded in 1997, TAV Airports Holding manages airports across three continents – Ankara Esenboğa, Antalya, Gazipaşa Alanya, Izmir Adnan Menderes and Milas Bodrum in Turkey; Batumi and Tbilisi in Georgia; Ohrid and Skopje in Macedonia; Enfidha-Hammamet and Monastir in Tunisia; Zagreb in Croatia, Riga in Latvia and Madinah in Saudi Arabia.

France’s Aeroports de Paris (ADP), which operates Charles De Gaulle and Orly airports, owns a 46-percent stake in TAV Airports Holding. 

The Turkish-French company is involved in developing, constructing and managing aircraft sheds, duty free shops, hotels, cafés, restaurants and passenger lounges. In 2018, the company provided services for one million flights and 152 million passengers.

The purchase, if completed, will affect the quality of service and the amount of investments. 

Atamkulov noted the airport needs to be modernised and its passenger terminal reconstructed. The 24,000-square metre facility, which can currently accommodate 1,600 passengers per hour, is deemed insufficient during its rush hours. Airport management announced plans in September 2018 to spend $140.8 million in the upcoming years to build a new terminal, reconstruct runways and improve food service.

Kazakhstan launched an open skies regime Nov. 1 at the country’s 11 airports. Officials hope the move will attract more passengers and new airlines. 

The new management will not affect the cost of airport services, noted the civil aviation committee press service. 

“The committee will continue working to develop the airport in terms of increasing its production capacity, quality of passenger service and flight safety in accordance with international standards,” said the committee.