The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed two loan agreements worth EUR 280 million in total with Fraport Greece to help finance upgrades to 14 regional Greek airports. The transaction benefits from the support of the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The EIB loan of EUR 280.4 million will be used for the financing of immediate development works at the 14 airports, including the refurbishment and modernisation of terminals, and the improvement of safety and airfield infrastructure. The investments will support the development of the tourism industry, a key driver of the Greek economy.

EIB Vice-President Jonathan Taylor, responsible for operations in Greece, stated: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to be investing in this nationally and regionally important project. It will create jobs, and provide a major boost for tourism - a sector that has proved its importance, and resilience, during the crisis. The EU Bank will support further investments in Greece that promote growth and help create sustainable and high quality employment.” 

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “Modern infrastructure will play a crucial role in supporting Greece's economic recovery. This requires sustained investment to ensure that it achieves its full potential to create jobs and spur growth. This agreement, with the support of the Commission, succeeds in mobilising private investment to finance upgrades to growth-enabling infrastructure that will support, for example, tourism and mobility. This is a prime example of the type of investments the European Commission is committed to support, as they bring growth and development."

Fraport Greece will pay EUR 1.2 billion to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund for the two 40-year concessions of 14 regional Greek airports (7+7). Apart from EIB, a consortium of Alpha Bank, Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation will provide long-term financing for the project.  

The 14 airports that are included in the concessions are: Aktion, Chania (Crete), Kavala, Kefalonia, Kerkyra (Corfu), Kos, Mitilini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Thessaloniki – Greece’s second largest city – and Zakynthos. These airports served a total of about 25.2 million passengers in 2016.