Bulgaria’s Transport Ministry has extended the deadline for the third time for bids to manage Sofia International Airport.

The deadline was extended until 5 February after some changes were made in documents for the concession contract, reported Reuters.

The ministry said that the previous deadline for submitting bids was due to expire on 29 January.

Bulgaria is looking to award a 35-year concession contract for running the airport. The country originally launched the tender in July last year with a deadline of 22 October. However, the deadline was extended several times due to some technical changes and numerous queries related to the process.

In October, the transport ministry extended the deadline by one month to 22 November and then again prolonged the bidding period to January 29.

“Bulgaria is looking to award a 35-year concession contract for running the airport.”

The Bulgarian Government is looking to gain approximately €550m ($630m) from the concession over a period of 35 years, with €280m of this offered in an upfront payment.

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By GlobalData

Sofia Airport is likely to generate revenues of €3.46bn over the whole period and up to €3.9bn if extended to a maximum of 46 years and seven months.

Britain’s largest airport operator Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is planning to submit a bid. In addition, a spokesman for GMR Group in India has reportedly said that the group would consider bidding based on the tender’s final terms.

Germany-based airport operator Fraport has also expressed interest, while Spain’s Aena is considering a joint bid with Australia’s First State.

French Aeroports de Paris and Switzerland’s Flughaven Zuerich have also shown an interest in bidding.