Bulgaria’s Competition Protection Commission (CPC) has rejected a claim by a candidate that bid for the Plovdiv Airport concession but was disqualified by the Transport Ministry, which said that the bidder could not show mandatory minimum assets of 20 million euro.
The rejection of the appeal by candidate Silk Road Plovdiv Airport means that the process can go on with consideration of the other two bids.
These bids were submitted by China’s HNA Group, a conglomerate involved in aviation, real estate, financial services, tourism and which owns Grand China Air (Hainan Airlines) and 25 per cent of Hilton Worldwide, and by Consortium Plovdiv Airport, which involves the Trakiya Economic Zone and the PIMK motor transport company, backed by Plovdiv municipality.
The CPC decision is subject to appeal in the Supreme Administrative Court.
The procedure for granting a 35-year concession of Plovdiv Airport was opened on the last working day of 2016.
Plovdiv Airport’s revenue in 2016 was just more than three million leva. In the first six months of 2017, revenue was 770 000, equivalent to a decrease of two per cent, resulting from a drop in the number of aircraft, passengers and goods serviced. At the same time, costs are rising and losses are reported to have reached 354 000 leva.