A joint venture (JV) of Fraport and TAV Airports has paid $2bn (€1.81bn) as an upfront fee to Turkey’s state airports authority (DHMI) for a new concession to operate Antalya Airport for 25 years.

The Fraport and TAV Airports JV secured the new concession in an auction held in December last year. The existing Fraport-TAV Antalya concession is set to expire at the end of 2026.

Fraport CEO Dr Stefan Schulte said: “Today’s upfront concession fee payment highlights our strong commitment to one of the most beautiful regions in the Mediterranean and our confidence in Antalya as a global brand.

“We believe that Antalya will see further growth in touristic demand. Many people will come because Antalya is a very attractive and competitive year-round destination.”

The rent paid by the JV is 25% of the total concession fee of $8bn (€7.25bn) to operate the airport until 2051.

Fraport has been operating Antalya Airport as an investor and airport manager for more than two decades. It claims to have transformed Antalya into one of the ‘leading tourism destinations’ in the Mediterranean region.

Schulte added: “Together with our TAV Airports partner, we will continue to expand and transform Antalya Airport into a prime gateway for people from all around the world.”

Over the next three years, Fraport and TAV plan to further expand Antalya Airport’s airside and terminal infrastructure.

The two companies intend to further enhance the existing international and domestic terminals.

Known as the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, Antalya Airport reported passenger traffic of 35 million in 2019.

However, due to the pandemic, its traffic dropped to nearly 9.7 million in 2020.

In 2021, traffic momentum at the airport increased again, especially during the summer and autumn seasons, with a recorded 22 million passengers.