The airport operator TAV Airports has taken over operations at Almaty Airport, Kazakhstan’s main and busiest aviation hub.
The airport’s capacity will be doubled with a USD 200m investment to build a new international terminal, the operator said in a statement.
The investment is planned to be completed in less than three years.
TAV is now 85% beneficial owner of Almaty Airport and associated fuel and catering businesses, while the Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund, managed by VPE Capital and backed by Kazyna Capital Management, holds the remaining 15% stake, it noted.
Almaty is the first airport in TAV’s portfolio where the company owns the airport instead of a time-limited concession as well as the fifteenth in its global network.
Sani Sener, TAV Airports’ CEO, stressed the company will focus on realizing Almaty Airport’s growth potential to the fullest.
The company will also promote Almaty and Kazakhstan with their rich cultural heritage and diverse tourism opportunities, Sener pledged.
“Our expertise in route development will help to increase Almaty’s connectivity to the world,” he noted.
The southeastern province of Almaty – the country’s onetime capital – is a strategic junction along China’s massive One Belt One Road project set to build trade routes with West Asia, Europe, and Africa.
The base of the flag carrier Air Astana, Almaty Airport served 6.4 million passengers in 2019, with a 13% increase compared to the previous year, the statement noted, adding the airport posted net profits in 2020 despite the traffic drop to 3.6 million in 2020 amid COVID-19.
Pre-pandemic, Almaty was a major regional transportation hub for 26 passenger and 8 cargo airlines serving multiple destinations.
Air Astana provided almost half of the passenger traffic while Turkish Airlines led in cargo.