Following on fromm Malev's intention to join oneworld.... I wonder if it'll help BAA's bid against others for BUD.
May 27, 2005
Britain's largest airport operator BAA formally announced on Friday that it plans to bid for Budapest Airport, the operator of Hungary's main international airport at Ferihegy.
"I came to Budapest today to visit the airport and to announce that BAA intends to take part in the process," BAA Chief Executive Mike Clasper told a news conference.
If successful, BAA promised to stay in Budapest for the long run and make the necessary investment to expand the company, Clasper said.
Hungary plans to sell nearly 75 percent of Budapest Airport in the second half of this year, but a formal cabinet decision has yet to be taken and the official publication of the privatization tender is weeks away, government officials said.
The privatization may be done via a long term lease or concession rather than an outright equity sale, but no formal decision has been taken.
BAA added that Hungarian laws allow a concession of up to 35 years but BAA would like something longer.
"The longer the better... we'd like it longer than," BAA International Managing Director Andrew Jurenko said.
Jurenko added that in BAA's Australian operations, they had received in some cases a 99 year concession, which has worked well for the company.
Besides BAA, Copenhagen Airports has said it plans to bid while Frankfurt's Fraport has indicated it may be interested.
BAA said it could provide Budapest Airport with capital, help it establish more routes, and support tourism through cooperation with its airports around the world.
"Ferihegy is an excellent airport with great potential," Clasper said.
Budapest Airport expects its passenger traffic to rise around 18 percent this year from about 6.5 million passengers in 2004 and sees a 10 percent increase in cargo turnover.
The bulk of the passenger traffic increase will be a result of more discount airline flights, the airport said earlier.