Turkey’s TAV takes over ops at Almaty Airport

Turkey’s TAV takes over ops at Almaty Airport

Turkey’s TAV takes over ops at Almaty Airport

Prominent Turkish airport operator TAV Airports has taken over operations at Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan’s main and busiest aviation hub.

The airport’s capacity will be doubled with a $200 million investment to build a new international terminal, the operator said in a statement on April 30.

The investment is planned to be completed in less than three years.

TAV is now 85 percent beneficial owner of Almaty Airport and associated fuel and catering businesses, while the Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund, managed by VPE Capital and backed by Kazyna Capital Management, holds the remaining 15 percent stake, it noted.

Almaty is the first airport in TAV’s portfolio where the company owns the airport instead of a time-limited concession as well as the 15th in its global network in nine countries.

Sani Şener, TAV Airports’ CEO, stressed the company will focus on realizing Almaty Airport’s growth potential to the fullest.

The company will also promote Almaty and Kazakhstan with their rich cultural heritage and diverse tourism opportunities, Şener pledged.

“Our expertise in route development will help to increase Almaty’s connectivity to the world,” he noted.

The southeastern province of Almaty – the country’s former capital city – is a strategic junction along China’s massive One Belt One Road project set to build trade routes with West Asia, Europe, and Africa.

The base of the flag carrier Air Astana, Almaty Airport served 6.4 million passengers in 2019, with a 13 percent increase compared to the previous year, the statement noted, adding the airport posted net profits in 2020 despite the traffic drop to 3.6 million in 2020 amid COVID-19.

Before the 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.

In January, TAV signed a deal with Uzbekistan’s Innovative Development Ministry on cooperation in the fields of joint investment and innovative projects. TAV will cooperate with the Uzbek ministry in the modernization of airports and the implementation of a joint investment project for the construction of a new airport in Tashkent.