The Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria has approved the selection of a consortium comprising Munich Airport and France-based investor Meridiam as the concessionaire for Sofia Airport.

In July last year, the consortium was awarded the concession by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Transport.

This decision was contested by the losing suitors Aeroports de Paris (ADP), Fraport and Manchester Airports Group (MAG), who had offered to pay €32.8m per year, or 42.8% of the annual revenue if it was higher. This led to a legal battle that lasted almost a year.

The latest development allows both parties to operate and manage Sofia Airport for 35 years under the consortium name ‘Sof Connect’.

Munich Airport noted that this investment embedded in the 35-year long-term public-private partnership will contribute to Bulgaria’s economic rebound from the Covid-19 crisis.

It also pledged to support the Bulgarian Government and local authorities to achieve significant regional benefits in social, economic and environmental aspects.

The airport will also develop new carbon accreditation and environmental standards, offering social, economic, environmental and inclusive growth for the city and country by serving as a benchmark for other airports and industries.

Meridiam has a portfolio of landmark airports, which include LaGuardia Central Terminal in New York, Queen Alia International in Jordan and Ivato and Nosy Bé in Madagascar.

The company is committed to work with the entire aviation sector for the reduction of carbon emissions.

Munich Airport said that it will provide the consortium with its knowledge, expertise, best practices and market outreach. This includes airline marketing, route development, passenger experience, smart airport development, airport city development and operational efficiency.