TAV Airports and Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund have completed the buy-out of Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan’s main aviation gateway and an important junction on the modern “Silk Road”. The capacity of the airport will be doubled with a USD 200M investment. Almaty is the 15th airport in TAV’s global network.
A member of GROUPE ADP, TAV Airports took over operations in Almaty, the economic capital and the busiest airport of Kazakhstan. TAV is now 85% beneficial owner of Almaty Airport and associated fuel and catering businesses, and Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund, managed by VPE Capital and backed by Kazyna Capital Management, holds the remaining 15% stake. Almaty is the first airport in TAV’s portfolio where the company owns the airport instead of a time limited concession, reads an official statement of TAV Airports.
First opened in 1935, Almaty is the busiest hub in Central Asia. The airport has two runways.
The previously agreed purchase price of USD 415 million is revised down to USD 365 million taking into account the traffic decrease due to the pandemic. Depending on the recovery of the traffic to pre-pandemic levels, the consortium will pay the additional USD 50 million in coming years.
TAV will invest around USD 200 million to build a new international terminal which will double the airport’s capacity to more than 14 million passengers annually. The investment is planned to be completed in less than three years.
The consortium received approval from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance 50% the acquisition and 100% of the new terminal investment with a loan. The financing is expected to be closed in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
“Almaty is strategically located on “the modern Silk Road”, established from China to Europe and Africa through air transport. Kazakhstan is the largest country in the region -both geographically and economically- and Almaty is the largest city in the country producing 20% of Kazakhstan’s GDP,” said Sani Şener TAV Airports President & CEO.
The base of the flag carrier Air Astana, Almaty Airport served 6.4 million passengers in 2019, with a 13% increase compared to the previous year. The airport announced net profits in 2020 despite the traffic drop to 3.6 million in 2020 due to travel restrictions brought by COVID-19.
In addition to Air Astana, Bek Air, SCAT Airlines and Qazak Air also use Almaty as their base. Pre-pandemic, Almaty was a major regional transportation hub for 26 passenger and 8 cargo airlines serving multiple destinations. Air Astana provided almost half of the passenger traffic while Turkish Airlines led in cargo.