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Serbian government extends deadline for Belgrade bids

05 July 2017
International consortia are pursuing a 25-year operating concession for Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. Source: ANT

The deadline for submitting binding bids for Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has been pushed back to 4 September 2017, Serbian transport minister Zorana Mihajlovic said on 22 June.

The contract is expected to be signed by the end of 2017 "depending on the binding bids", Mihajlovic told Serbian state news agency Tanjug.

The government - which owns 83% of Nikola Tesla - and operator Aerodrom Nikola Tesla (ANT) aim to award a 25-year concession for financing, upgrading, expanding, and managing the airport, which is a hub for flag carrier Air Serbia.

"If there is intent and people are serious, the decision can be made as announced," a representative from one bidder told Jane's .

An initial 27 bids were received, narrowed down in Phase 2 to the following consortia: Meridian East Europe Investments (Cayman Islands), Zurich Airport (Switzerland), and French civil engineering firm Eiffage; GMR Infrastructure (India) with GEK Terna (Greece); Incheon International Airport (South Korea), IC Ictas Altypi Yitimlari (Turkey), and VTB Capital Infrastructure (Cyprus); and a Chinese consortium comprising Hainan Travel Service, HNA Airport Group, and China National Aero Technology Engineering Corp. A solo bid from Vinci Airports was also shortlisted.

Qualified bidders had to prove available equity of more than EUR500 million (USD568 million). Another stipulation is to have operated an international airport with more than five million passengers per year for at least two years over the past decade.

The Serbian government expects a higher price than previously expected for the concession. Mihajlovic said, "It was completely realistic for offers from concessionaires to reach EUR350 million and not EUR50 million as earlier estimated."

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