TAV Airports assumed the operation of Almaty Airport, the main gate of Kazakhstan. Operating 15 airports in eight countries, TAV will double the capacity of Almaty, one of the major centers of the modern "Silk Road", with an investment of 200 million dollars.
TAV Airports assumed the operation of Almaty, the commercial capital of Kazakhstan and the airport with the busiest traffic. The consortium formed by TAV and VPE Capital signed in May 2020 to purchase Almaty Airport and associated food and beverage and fuel businesses. TAV has an 85 percent share in the consortium.
Located in the southeast of the country, Almaty is at the center of the "Belt and Road" project, which is called the modern Silk Road. Half of the country's total passenger traffic passes through Almaty Airport.
TAV Airports CEO Sani Şener said, “We are pleased to add Kazakhstan's Almaty Airport, which is one of the main transit hubs between Asia and Europe, to our portfolio. We started to operate one of the important stops of the modern 'Silk Road', which was established from the air from Asia to Europe and Africa. While going through one of the most serious crises in aviation history, the completion of this project with foreign financing is also important in terms of demonstrating TAV's credibility.
Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia geographically and economically, has deep-rooted relations with Turkey and a trade volume of approximately 3 billion dollars. We believe that we will make a significant contribution to the commercial and touristic relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey and the economies of both countries.
The feeling of operating an airport in the lands where our ancestors lived before their migration to Anatolia, in the foothills of the Altay and Tanrı Mountains, also makes us proud. Using our 21 years of experience in airport construction and management, we will make Almaty airport one of the most important airports in the region, together with our investment and marketing activities. said.
Almaty Airport, the home base of the country's flag carrier airline Air Astana, served 2019 million passengers in 13, an increase of 6,4 percent compared to the previous year. The airport, which served 2020 million passengers in 3,6 due to pandemic restrictions, on the other hand closed the year with profit.
Bek Air, SCAT Airlines and Qazak Air also use the airport as a base. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus have regular direct flights between Istanbul and Almaty.
In 2019, 26 passenger and eight cargo airlines organized flights from Almaty. Half of the passenger traffic is handled by Air Astana, while THY takes the first place in cargo.
Having started its operations in 1935, Almaty is the busiest airport in Central Asia in terms of traffic. The airport has two runways.
New terminal investment
The consortium will pay 365 million dollars for the purchase. According to the return of traffic affected by the pandemic, an additional $ 50 million will be paid over the coming years.
TAV will build a new international terminal with an investment of approximately 200 million dollars. The new terminal is planned to be completed and commissioned within two to three years. With the new terminal, the capacity of the airport will double and exceed 14 million passengers annually.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide financing for half of the share purchase price and the entire new terminal investment. The financing agreement is expected to be signed in the third quarter of this year.
Central Asia's economic center
Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, produces 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product and is the largest city with a population of 2 million.
With a total population of 18,9 million, Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by 2,7 million square kilometers.
Turkish citizens can travel to Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days.