Aviation operator TAV Airports is to acquire a 40% share in Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, after signing an agreement with the Limak Group.
Starting operations in 2001, the airport came under the umbrella of the Limak-GMR-Malaysia Airports consortium from 2007 for a period of 20 years.
This year, Malaysia Airports bought its shares, becoming a majority shareholder in the airport. The acquisition by TAV will make the company and Malaysia Airports equal partners.
Speaking about the acquisition, TAV Airports CEO and president Sani Sener said: "Becoming a partner at Sabiha Gökçen Airport is a bold strategic move for TAV, as Atatürk Airport is planned to be closed when the new airport will be put into service in Istanbul.
"It is the responsibility of TAV senior management to anticipate the termination of our Atatürk Airport operation by finding the opportunity to extend our footprint in Istanbul and to benefit fully from Istanbul's traffic growth potential until at least 2030.
"Limak has become a member of the consortium that won the new airport tender and aspires to focus on that project and TAV was willing to extend its foothold in Istanbul beyond 2021. If Malaysia Airports doesn't use its right of first refusal, we would begin making contributions to the operations at Sabiha Gökçen, after receiving the required approvals."
Sener further said that having a presence in both Istanbul Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen Airports in the next five to six years would help TAV to increase airport productivity and enhance customer services at the two sites.
Image: The Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: courtesy of Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.