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Manchester Airport Group poised for Bulgarian airport bid

sofia airport1

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is expected to submit its bid to run Sofia Airport later today, following months of delays.

Last month, Bulgaria’s transport ministry, for the fifth time, extended the deadline for submitting bids for the 35-year concession contract to run the airport.

The deadline was most recently extended to 11 April from 3 April due to changes to the tender documentation, the transport ministry revealed.

However speaking of MAG’s desire to launch its bid before the deadline today, a spokesman for the group confirmed to New Civil Engineer: “Our team are out there [in Bulgaria] ready to submit at the transport ministry.”

He went on to tell New Civil Engineer that MAG plans to submit its bid before the deadline today, which is 2.30PM Bulgarian time (12.30PM UK time).

“We are the only bidder at present who have declared their hand and said they are planning to bid formally,” he added.

Previously, MAG had been poised to submit its bid on February 5, only to be told by the ministry that the procurement process was being pushed back to April 3 at the request of rival bidders.

The February 5 deadline was abandoned, following earlier scrapped deadlines of 29 January, 22 November 2018 and 22 October last year.

The tender was relaunched in July last year, as the Bulgarian government made a second attempt to pick an operator for Sofia Airport. Bids were first invited in 2016 by then Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borissov. There were several more delays before the project was scrapped by a caretaker government in March 2017.

The Bulgarian government aims to charge the winning bidder around €550M [£482M] to operate airport.

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