The concession procedure at the Plovdiv Airport was opened by the Council of Ministers on December 30th 2016.
On March 28th 2018, a consortium was selected to go on with the project: the Chinese HNA Airport Group and Plovdiv Airport Invest, registered in the Netherlands, related to the Chinese.
According to the agreement, the amount to be invested was of EUR 79 million excluding VAT plus an annual concession payment of BGN 600,000 (EUR 307,000) excluding VAT.
The deadline for signing the contract with the Bulgarian side expired on July 20th 2018. It was extended by one month at the Chinese request by a decision of the Council of Ministers in mid-June.
On July 3rd, during a vacation in Provence, South-Eastern France, co-chairman and founder of the Chinese business conglomerate, Wang Jian, died in a tragic incident. This was preceded by major financial problems and the disposal of assets. As a consequence, the HNA Airport Group officially announced that they were waiving the concession.
In February 2020, the Bulgarian government decided to open a new procedure for the designation of a concessionaire at the Plovdiv Airport.
Turkey has shown a strong interest in the Plovdiv airport concession, it became clear in March 2020 after a meeting that the mayor of the city, Zdravko Dimitrov, had with the Turkish Ambassador to Bulgaria, Eileen Sekizkök.
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