TAV consortium to extend Medinah Airport concession
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has accepted TAV-led TIBAH’s application to extend its Medinah Airport concession to help it recover from the current downturn in traffic.
Medinah Airport welcomed 8.4 million passengers in 2019, the bulk of which were made up of Umrah and Hajj visitors.
However, following the introduction of travel restrictions to Saudi Arabia, passenger numbers dropped to 2.3 million in 2020 and just 1.5 million passengers through the gateway in the first 11 months of 2021.
Under the agreed new deal, the concession will be extended from February 2020 to the time it takes Medinah Airport’s traffic figures to return to 8.1 million passengers per annum. In addition, all rent payments are deferred until the time the gateway handles 8.1mppa.
And just as importantly, as part of the agreement, the financial debt of TIBAH excluding the equity bridge loan, has been refinanced with a loan that has a lower interest rate and has maturity until 2036.
TAV Airports’ president and CEO Sani Şener, said: “We have been successfully operating Medinah Airport, the gateway to the Holy Land, together with our partner Al-Rajhi, for the last nine years.
“Aviation is one of the most impacted sectors by the pandemic. We have taken all the necessary precautions to protect our employees and passengers and kept our airports open.
“Simultaneously, in the countries where we have operations, we are discussing with the civil aviation authorities to remedy our pandemic-related losses due to force majeure clauses in our agreements.
“We are happy to reach an agreement to extend our concession in Medinah, and looking forward to welcome pilgrims who had to postpone their visits to the Holy Land. I want to thank all the parties who made this agreement possible.”
TAV-Al Rajhi JV took over operations in Medinah in June 2012. The concession period which runs through 2037 will be extended with the new agreement.
The new terminal, which is the first building to receive the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in MENA, opened in April 2015.
As part of its safe travel efforts during the pandemic, the airport achieved ACI Health Accreditation from ACI World in November 2020.