TAV agrees to buy Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan
Global airport operator, TAV Airports, has agreed a $450 million fee to buy Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan.
The main gateway to Kazakhstan is an important junction in the modern ‘Silk road’ and will become the 15th airport in TAV’s global network.
TAV confirms that the deal will see it and investment partner, VPE Capital, purchase 100% of the shares of Almaty Airport. It will hold no less than 75% of the shares in the airport when the deal is legally ratified later this summer.
Located in the south east of the country, in addition to its importance to the Silk Road, Almaty is a strategical point along China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ project, connecting Central China to West Asia.
TAV notes that Kazakhstan leads Central Asia in economic growth and generates roughly 60% of the region’s GDP.
Sani Şener, TAV Airports president and CEO, says: “We’re happy to add Almaty Airport, which is a main transit hub between Asia and Europe, to our portfolio. Almaty is the largest city in the country controlling 20% of Kazakhstan’s GDP.
“We believe there’s a significant potential for growth in Almaty Airport, and drawing upon our extensive know-how, we’ll work towards realising this potential to the fullest.”
Home base to national flag carrier Air Astana, Almaty Airport served 6.4 million passengers in 2019 – a healthy 13% rise on the previous year.
Bek Air, SCAT Airlines and Qazak Air also use Almaty as their base, which also serves as Kazakhstan’s cargo hub, handling 70% of all airfreight.
Air Astana, today announced that it will resume operations from Almaty and Nur-Sultan to regional centres across Kazakhstan from next Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
The airline notes that all flights will be operated by Airbus A320/A321 and Embraer E190-E2 aircraft and that more services to other cities across Kazakhstan will resume as soon as local airports re-open.
Speaking exclusively to Airport World earlier this year about the potential purchase of Almaty Airport, TAV’s Şener, said: “Kazakhstan is becoming a key transit hub between Asia and Europe.
“The country, with its location and ambitious development goals and infrastructure investments, is in a strategic position to benefit from China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, which is in effect the New Silk Road establishing trade routes between Asia, Europe and Africa.
“It will be our first airport operation in Asia, and we all know that the aviation business will continue to grow in Asia.”