The Bulgarian Government is planning to re-start the tender for Plovdiv Airport concession following the successful process with Sofia Airport. It is expected that the start of the concession procedure will be announced by the end of the year and it is likely to coincide with the signing of the Sofia airport concession agreement.

The good news was announced officially yesterday by the Bulgarian Minister of Tourism at a forum of the tour operators in Plovdiv and was confirmed by the Bulgarian government.

As an advisor of one of the participants in the previous concession procedure for Plovdiv Airport and following the successful tender for Sofia Airport, CMS expects a serious interest by investors for the new procedure as well.

In March 2018, Bulgaria's Government authorised the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications to sign a concession contract for Plovdiv Airport for a term of 35 years with a consortium comprising HNA Group and the local company Plovdiv Airport Invest. The consortium was selected as the winner of a tender launched in January 2017, which attracted bids from two other consortiums. The promised investments were in the amount of EUR 79 million and a fixed concession remuneration in the amount of BGN 600,000 annually plus 6% of the revenues. The consortium however refused to sign an agreement with the Ministry of Transport and did not file the necessary documents within the required term. The second ranked participant was not offered a contract due to big price differences. Eventually, the previous concession procedure was terminated in October 2018. The government grounded its decision with the lack of economic effectiveness and therefore decided that conducting of a new procedure can be more profitable.

Meanwhile, in December 2017, a new Concession Act was adopted, which came into force during the previous procedure. The re-launch of the tender by the end of this year shall be conducted in compliance with the new legislation.