Turkey slashes rental fees for Istanbul airport, delays payment - report

Turkey reduced and postponed fees for operating Istanbul Airport, columnist Ali Kıdık wrote for news website Airport Haber.

The operator will pay 335 million euros per year for the first two years to run the airport, down from an original 1 billion euros per year, Kıdık reported. The payments will be delayed for 25 years, he said.

Istanbul Airport was opened by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in October. Turkish Airlines has now moved its operations to the facility from the nearby Ataturk Airport, which has been shut down. Foreign airlines began flying there in April.

The alleged reduction in fees comes after reports emerged that IGA, the airport’s operator, was looking to sell a stake. U.S. investment bank Lazard has been instructed to find buyers for shares in the asset, Bloomberg reported in late May citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Aeroports de Paris and Turkish airport operator TAV, which lost its interest in Ataturk Airport, are among interested parties, two of the people said, according to Bloomberg. Vinci SA is also interested, they said.

Five construction companies with close ties to Erdoğan had won a contract to build and operate the airport under the IGA umbrella. One of the partners – Kolin Inşaat – sold its 20 percent stake earlier this year.