Major European and North American companies have expressed an interest in developing and running Cyprus's two international airports at an estimated revamp of more than $300 million, the communications ministry said Monday, March 26.
The ministry said it received 23 expressions of interest from 14 countries to modernize the main airport of Larnaca and its satellite at Paphos, which handle almost six million passengers annually between them.
Among the big name contenders are the British Airport Authority, Lufthansa, Frankfurt Airport, Milan Linate Airport, Parsons Aviation of the United States, AerRianta of Ireland and Egis Projects of France.
According to the ministry's list, other candidates come from Australia, Canada, Israel, Denmark, Spain and Sweden as well as Cyprus.
The plan is to improve capacity over the next 15 to 20 years to somewhere near 10 million passengers, with Larnaca handling more than eight million and Paphos around two million.
Cyprus is enjoying a tourism boom with a record 2.7 million visitors last year and is hoping to welcome four million by 2005.
Within the next six weeks more detailed tenders will be published, a short list drawn up in July and a final decision taken before the end of the year, communications ministry permanent secretary Vassos Pyrgos told a news conference Monday. — (AFP, Nicosia)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)