President and CEO of TAV Airports Sani Şener has told Bloomberg HT how unrest in Kazakhstan can impact investments and business of TAV Airports in the country.
Şener said that cargo flights have been restored after the police and military have taken control of the Almaty International Airport. Many shops inside the airport have been looted but the crucial infrastructure is unharmed.
“Almaty is one of the key airports in our portfolio. It accounts for 20% of our total turnover. Unlike other airports, about 75% revenue of the Almaty airports comes from cargo flights, ground services and aviation fuel. So, passenger flights account for just 25% of revenue. If the airport is closed because of the pandemic or any other reason, this reduction of passenger flights or even stopping air travel at all wouldn’t hurt us. The main task is to continue supporting cargo flights, technical landings and providing ground services,” said the head of TAV Airports Holding.
Sani Şener has admitted that like many other foreign investors, they didn’t expect the current scenario of the unrest in Kazakhstan. However, the company is experienced enough and knows how to cope with different crises. The Almaty International Airport is the key facility that plays a crucial role in Kazakhstan’s economy and just cannot be closed, according to Şener from TAV Airports. As he noted, the company won’t stop investing in the Almaty airport.
“We are going to invest about $200 million over two or three years; the construction of new facilities has already begun,” he said.
In April 2021, TAV Airports and Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund closed a deal on buying the Almaty International Airport. Now TAV owns 85% shares of the airport and its subsidiaries which specialize in fueling and catering. The remaining 15% of shares are managed by VPE Capital and belong to Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund.