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Seven months after declaring an interest in Bulgaria’s Sofia Airport, Manchester Airport Group (MAG) today confirmed that it has made a bid to operate the gateway.

Its undisclosed offer has been made together with Chinese investment partner, the Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG).

If successful, it will be awarded a 35 year contract to operate and develop Bulgaria’s capital city airport.

MAG offer

The Anglo-Chinese consortium’s submission to the Bulgarian Government includes significant plans for the redevelopment and reconfiguration of the airport’s existing terminals as well as designs for a brand new Terminal 3, which, when complete, will ensure Sofia has an airport fit for its position as a European capital city.

Andrew Harrison, CEO, Airport Services, MAG, says: “As we promised last year, MAG has made its formal submission to the Bulgarian Government.

“It is an exciting moment for us, as we truly believe that Sofia Airport has enormous potential to deliver further connectivity for Sofia. This in turn will help stimulate additional economic growth and tourism throughout Bulgaria.

“We have spent much of the past two years in Bulgaria, hearing from businesses, and, most importantly, the people of Sofia, about what they would like to see in a new, redeveloped airport.

“We at MAG believe that this concession process will be hugely beneficial for Bulgaria as a whole and that, together with BCEG, we have a compelling offer. We are thrilled to be taking part.” 


Xing Yan, BCEG International Co Ltd’s regional director, says: “By successfully submitting our bid with our partners MAG, in the concession tender, we have the opportunity and ability to completely transform Sofia Airport and the experiences of the millions of people that use it every year.

“BCEG has a great track record of delivering projects of major importance like this on time, on budget and to the highest quality.

“This would be the first of many major construction projects on and around the airport estate, and we look forward to working closely with MAG improving the transportation infrastructure and placing Sofia Airport firmly on the aviation and tourism map.

“We are extremely proud to be part of the team submitting our proposal for this flagship scheme. Sofia international airport will contribute significantly to the enhancement of the area but also contributing to the continued success of Bulgaria and its people.”

The partnership between MAG and BCEG is long-standing, having been established in 2013 to develop Airport City Manchester. The consortium has developed a strong, mutual understanding and this has continued into building a shared vision for realising the potential of Sofia Airport.

MAG currently operates three major airports in the UK – Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands – and provides services to six airports in the United States.

BCEG is building one of the largest aviation projects in the world: Beijing Daxing International Airport, which will be the world’s largest airport and recently completed its first test flights.

MAG’s unique ownership structure comprises a blend of both Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester local authorities and long-term private investors (IFM Investors) representing a true public-private partnership.

It claims that this has ensured that its growth has been founded on its ability to balance the commercial considerations of its airports with a commitment to working closely with the local communities around each site to ensure that they benefit both from the point of view of investment, job creation and the environment.


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