GMR Airports Ltd said on Monday it has received the concession commencement date for design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of new international airport of Heraklion at Crete in Greece.
Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis laid the foundation stone of the airport, marking the beginning of the project.
GMR Airports along with its Greek partner GEK Terna signed the concession agreement for 35 years, including phase one construction of five years.
The consortium intends to invest over 500 million euros for development of the new airport. The project is well-funded through support of government grant and will not require any debt.
The entire project will be funded through a mix of equity, accruals from the existing airport, and financial grant being provided by the government of Greece.
Greece is one of the leading international tourist destinations, attracting nearly 33 million tourists per annum. Crete is the largest and most visited island in Greece.
Heraklion airport located in Crete is the second largest airport in Greece and has registered traffic growth of 10 per cent CAGR over the past three years.
The current airport is facing a severe capacity constraint and will be replaced by the new airport at Kastelli. GMR is the first Indian airport operator to win bid to operate a European airport and also GMR Group”s first foray in the EU region, said Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman of Energy and International Airports at GMR Group.
“Along with our partner GEK Terna, we aim to deliver an airport of global standards which will be a matter of pride for Greece,” he said in a statement.
GMR Airports has a portfolio of five airports including India’s busiest Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and Mactan Cebu International Airport in partnership with Megawide in the Philippines.
It is developing a greenfield airport at Mopa in Goa. The new airport at Crete will set the horizon for GMR Airports to expand its footprint in the European Union.