BRUSSELS – The European Commission approved Greece’s extension by 20 years of the concession granted to the Athens International Airport managers AIA SA on Monday, as the latter “receives no undue economic advantage or aid.”
Athens International Airport ‘Eleftherios Venizelos’ is operated by the Athens International Airport SA under a concession agreement covering the period 1996 to 2026. Under the measure notified by Greece to the Commission, this concession will be extended until 2046, against the payment of an increased fee.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The Commission has found that the 1.1-billion-euros fee that will be paid by AIA for the 20-year extension of the Athens airport concession corresponds to a market price. This means that AIA will not benefit from any state aid in the form of an unduly low fee for the concession. The Commission cooperated actively with the Greek authorities to reach this positive result, which is one of the most important economic transactions under the Greek privatisation programme.”
The extension of the Athens International Airport concession – which will cover losses between July 1 to December 31, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic – is one of the transactions included in the Greek Government’s privatisation programme, to which Greece committed under the ESM stability support programme, and which was successfully concluded on 20 August 2018.