Turkish operator buys rights for duty free stores in five Tunisian airports

Turkish operator buys rights for duty free stores in five Tunisian airports

Turkish airport operator TAV has won a bid for the duty free stores at five airports across Tunisia, the company said in a filing to the stock exchange Oct. 7.

The company bought operating rights for stores at Tunis-Carthage, Djerba-Zarzis, Sfax-Thyna, Tozeur-Nefta and Tabarka-Ain Draham, the statement read.

The deal, valid from November, will expire in eight years and two months.

The duty free shops in the five Tunisian airports, which encompasses over 5,400 square meters, served 8 million passengers last year, TAV said.

The number of passengers TAV served at the 10 airports it operates increased 14 percent in September, reaching 9.7 million, according to a separate statement by the company to Reuters.

The international passengers at these airports also increased 15 percent, nearing 5.6 million, the statement said.

Passengers at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, the largest in both Turkey and TAV’s portfolio, drove the number with 5.21 million, up 11 percent from the same month a year earlier. Some 3.53 million of these passengers were foreigners.

In the same first three quarters of the year, Atatürk Airport served 42.75 million people, with a 10 percent increase from the same period the previous year.

The government is also building a new airport on the European side of the city, in a bid to meet the increasing demand.

The 22.1 billion euro project, won by a consortium of five companies, is expected to be capable of hosting 150 million passengers each year. However, its location has raised environmental concerns given that Istanbul’s last forests and major water reservoirs are being destroyed to make way for the facility.

TAV served 72.26 million people in the first three quarters of this year at the 10 airports.

In the first nine months of the year, 128.3 million people received services at airports across the country, the General Directorate of State Airports Authority told Reuters in a separate statement Oct. 9.
This was 11.5 percent above the total number a year earlier.