Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

SEASIDE AIRPORTS CONCESSION GOES BACK TO SUPREME COURT

The BANKER weekly's forecast that the concession of the airports in Varna and Bourgas will be the next privatisation deal with serious legal complications turned out to be true. The consortium between the German Fraport and the Bulgarian BM Star company, ranked second in the competition, filed another appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). It contested the May 11 lower court decision which allowed the Cabinet to sign an agreement with the preferred candidate - the Danish Copenhagen Airports.A week ago three members of the SAC decided that the appeals submitted by the consortiums Fraport-BM Star and Vinci Concessions-Vinci Airports against the choice of an airport concessionaire did not suspend the implementation of the Government's decision. According to the supreme magistrates, allowing preliminary implementation of the attacked decision would defend important state and public interests and would not lead to violating the rights of the appealing participants.There is no legal chance to allow preliminary implementation of the decision for choosing a concessionaire under art. 18, paragraph 2 of the Concessions Act, because the legislative act bans it and that ban cannot be surmounted. The legal practice of the Supreme Administrative Court in this aspect is explicit, but the decision of the three magistrates obviously contradicts the convention, Fraport sent a message to the media.In the meantime, it became clear that in 2005 the Bourgas airport expects an over 7% increase of the chartered flights compared to 2004. During the current year the airport will accept 11,700 international flights, of which 5,100 made by Bulgarian air carriers and 6,600 by foreign ones. The number of passengers will grow by 15 per cent. Foreign air companies will transport 950,000 passengers and Bulgarian ones - 600,000. Nine new air carriers - from Israel, France, Poland, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Great Britain and Sweden, will fly to Bourgas this summer.

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