Manchester Airports Group (MAG) on Wednesday confirmed that it intends to participate in the tender process for the concession to operate Sofia Airport in Bulgaria.
The process was started on July 5 by the Bulgarian Government.
MAG owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports and is privately managed on behalf of its shareholders — Australian investment fund IFM Investors (35.5%), Manchester City Council (35.5%) and nine other Greater Manchester councils (29%).
MAG’s bid will be supported by Chinese construction giant BCEG which is already working with MAG on the Airport City UK construction project in Manchester.
MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said: “Airports bring the world closer together and act as significant economic catalysts for both the regional and national economies in which they operate, and we hope to be given the opportunity to deliver to the people of Bulgaria the world class global gateway that they deserve.
“We have already undertaken a considerable amount of work in relation to this opportunity and have a clear vision as to how we will deliver a passenger experience and global route network for Sofia Airport that is comparable to other top tier airports around the world. We want to deliver direct international connectivity to Bulgaria to stimulate tourism and economic growth.
“At the same time, MAG recognises the importance that the communities surrounding our airports place on the airport being able to grow without increasing environmental impacts.
“MAG’s belief is that when MAG airports prosper, the communities around its airports should also prosper.
“We have prioritised our international development activity to focus on Sofia Airport which would be one of the ‘jewels in our crown’ and our most significant overseas investment to date.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with BCEG on our concession bid. Our partnership together on Airport City UK is thriving.
“We bring a full skill set to Sofia – our commercial and operational experience and BCEG’s extensive construction skills and ability to deliver to the highest quality and standards.”