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NEWS Last modified on October 3, 2018

MAG interested in operating Sofia Airport in Bulgaria

MAG, the UK’s largest airport group, today confirmed that it intends to participate in the tender process for the concession to operate Sofia Airport in Bulgaria. 

Any bid by MAG, which operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports in the UK, would be supported by Chinese construction giant BCEG.

The Chinese firm is already working with MAG on its Airport City UK construction project in Manchester, one of the UK’s most significant examples of collaboration with China in infrastructure development. 

MAG chief executive, Charlie Cornish, says: “Airports bring the world closer together and act as significant economic catalysts for both the regional and national economies in which they operate, and we hope to be given the opportunity to deliver to the people of Bulgaria the world class global gateway that they deserve.
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“We have already undertaken a considerable amount of work in relation to this opportunity and have a clear vision as to how we will deliver a passenger experience and global route network for Sofia Airport that is comparable to other top tier airports around the world.

"We want to deliver direct international connectivity to Bulgaria to stimulate tourism and economic growth.

“At the same time, MAG recognises the importance that the communities surrounding our airports place on the airport being able to grow without increasing environmental impacts.

"MAG’s belief is that when our airports prosper, the communities around the airports should also prosper. We have prioritised our international development activity to focus on Sofia Airport which would be one of the ‘jewels in our crown’ and our most significant overseas investment to date.”

 Xing Yan, regional director of BCEG International Co. Ltd, says: “To be joining with our partners MAG to take part in the selection process for the concession for Sofia Airport is a real honour for us.

“Working alongside MAG in Bulgaria, will be an exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunity and we look forward to further deepening our existing relationship with MAG.
“We see our involvement in our bid for Sofia Airport as an extension of the memorandum of understanding between China and Bulgaria as part of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative. The project represents a real opportunity for us to further explore joint infrastructure opportunities.

“We will bring our Chinese investment together with our expertise and extensive skills in aviation, construction, development, investment, and infrastructure to Sofia Airport.

"As a main contractor and partner, we have great confidence in the development and believe it will act as a magnet for inward investment into Sofia, which will bring economic benefits and employment to the region.”

MAG's move for Sofia Airport is backed by the UK's Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP.

He notes: "MAG has invested heavily in its airports in the UK and has seen consistent, sustainable growth.

"I am pleased to support their bid to share this success at Sofia Airport and a trusted airport operator like MAG is the right company to be investing in Bulgaria as Britain seeks to strengthen its economic ties.”

MAG’s most recent acquisition is Stansted Airport, which it acquired for £1.5 billion in 2013.


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