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Reconsidering Montenegro’s airport concessions: Pursuing improved terms with finalists

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Montenegro faces the necessity of revising concession terms and aiming for higher financial compensation for airport concessions if it opts to engage in negotiations with the four finalists chosen in the tender initiated before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to aviation analyst Alen Šćuric.

Šćuric pointed out that back in 2019, when the tender was announced, Montenegro Airports had anticipated €100 million from the concession, alongside €150 million in investments earmarked for Podgorica and Tivat airports.

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“However, the value of €100 million today is significantly diminished compared to 2019. Therefore, if Montenegro proceeds with negotiations solely with the four finalists, it would need to amend the terms and request a higher financial offer,” Šćuric underscored in a column published on the aviation portal Zamaaero.

He raised the possibility of resolving the issue of airport concessions in Montenegro by reinstating the 2019 tender and engaging in negotiations with the finalists.

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“Whether reactivating the tender would represent a viable solution or whether it would be more beneficial for Montenegro to launch a new one, thereby attracting new prospective bidders and potentially securing a more favorable concession, remains uncertain,” Šćuric noted.

He reminded readers that prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Montenegro had embarked on the concession-granting process for airports, which had progressed to the second round where four finalists were selected. These included Incheon International Airport Corporation from Seoul, GMR Airports Limited from Delhi, TAV Havalimanlari Holding and Airport de Paris International (ADPI), and Corporation America Airports AS.

Šćuric emphasized that the TAV and ADPI consortium stands out as particularly formidable, boasting concessions at multiple airports across various countries, including Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, as well as in Skopje, Ohrid, and Zagreb within the region.

“ADPI alone manages the airports in Paris – CDG, Orly, and Bourget. It is a formidable corporation with extensive experience managing numerous airports, especially in Europe, and holds stakes in three regional airports. Without a doubt, ADPI represents the most promising choice for Montenegro,” Šćuric remarked, noting that ADPI owns 46.1 percent of TAV.

He cautioned against GMR Airports, citing their lack of European experience, despite their presence in India and the Philippines. Additionally, he highlighted Corporation America’s specialization in Latin America, making them less suitable for Montenegro’s needs.

Šćuric concluded by suggesting that Incheon Airport from Seoul presents a highly attractive option, given its esteemed reputation and success in managing Seoul’s airport operations.

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