Manchester Airports Group is seeking to add a fourth airport to its portfolio in partnership with the Beijing Construction Engineering Group.
Manchester Airports Group, MAG, the UK’s largest airport group, has confirmed that it intends to participate in the tender process for the concession to operate Sofia Airport in Bulgaria. The process was started on 5th July by the Bulgarian Government.
MAG already operates three major airports in the UK at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands, which together serve 60 million passengers per year, to over 270 destinations via 70 airlines.
The company’s unique ownership structure comprises a blend of both Manchester City Council and the Greater Manchester local authorities and long-term private investors (IFM Investors). This has ensured that its growth has been founded on its ability to balance the commercial considerations of its airports with a commitment to working closely with the local communities around each site to ensure that they benefit both from the point of view of investment, job creation and the environment.
MAG’s bid will be supported by Chinese construction giant BCEG, who are already working with MAG on the Airport City UK construction project in Manchester, one of the UK’s most significant examples of collaboration with China in infrastructure development. BCEG’s involvement will bring new opportunities for collaboration between Bulgaria and China.
Manchester Airports Group Chief Executive, Charlie Cornish said:
“We have a clear vision as to how we will deliver a passenger experience and global route network for Sofia Airport that is comparable to other top tier airports around the world.
“Airports bring the world closer together and act as significant economic catalysts for both the regional and national economies in which they operate, and we hope to be given the opportunity to deliver to the people of Bulgaria the world class global gateway that they deserve.
“We have already undertaken a considerable amount of work in relation to this opportunity and have a clear vision as to how we will deliver a passenger experience and global route network for Sofia Airport that is comparable to other top tier airports around the world. We want to deliver direct international connectivity to Bulgaria to stimulate tourism and economic growth.
“At the same time, MAG recognises the importance that the communities surrounding our airports place on the airport being able to grow without increasing environmental impacts. MAG’s belief is that when MAG airports prosper, the communities around its airports should also prosper. We have prioritised our international development activity to focus on Sofia Airport which would be one of the ‘jewels in our crown’ and our most significant overseas investment to date.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with BCEG on our concession bid. Our partnership together on Airport City UK is thriving. We bring a full skill set to Sofia – our commercial and operational experience and BCEG’s extensive construction skills and ability to deliver to the highest quality and standards.”
All of MAG’s airports are certified as ‘carbon neutral’ following extensive efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations by MAG’s in house team of experts.
The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport in the United Kingdom, said:
“Manchester Airports Group has invested heavily in its airports in the UK and has seen consistent, sustainable growth. I am pleased to support their bid to share this success at Sofia Airport and a trusted airport operator like MAG is the right company to be investing in Bulgaria as Britain seeks to strengthen its economic ties”
BCEG has a strong track record of delivery in the aviation sector. To date it has delivered over one million square metres of new terminal floorspace, 15 major cargo/technical hangers and hundreds of kilometres of runways, taxiways and aprons.