Saturday, June 26, 2010

GMR-MAHB consortium wins management deal of the Male’ International Airport

In order to increase revenue and capability, Maldives’ government decided to privatize the Male’ International Airport. In an open bidding, the GMR-MAHB consortium won the deal.

Three parties bid for the deal- Aeroport De Paris, France-TAV, Turkey consortium, Zurich Airport-GVK consortium and the GMR-MAHB consortium. The entire bidding process was overlooked by the International Finance Corp of the World Bank.

The airport is situated on HulHule Island. As per the deal, GMR-MAHB consortium would take over the airport in the first quarter of 2011 and will complete the project in three years replacing the old terminal with a new one. The consortium would then operate the airport for the next twenty five years. The deal could be expanded for another ten years.

Neither GMR Group nor Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB) gave out the financial details of the project.

One of the prominent features of the airport is that it would also have a sea-plane port.

Ibrahim Shareef, Vice President and Spokesman, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) is saying that the deal was not transparent and his party would not support the deal. He said that the privatization of government asset is occurring without parliament’s approval.

On the other hand, Maldives President, Dr. Mohammed Waheed Hassan, said that the privatization will increase the annual gross income of the Male’ International Airport from $20 million to $45 million. He said that the airport needed major improvements and borrowing money would affect other public service.

He said that the airport tax and profits from in-flight catering services and Hulhule Island Hotel would go to the treasury.

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