Photograph by Bestalex, via Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 15.08.2017

 

Despite a positive reception to the deal, experts were initially astonished with Vinci's offer, arguing that the company would find it extremely difficult to reach the target number of passengers, spend the pledged amount of money, and gain a return on its investment by relying only on airport business. However, the French operator is an experienced company that runs 35 airports globally and has recently expanded its aviation branch by adding 12 new airports in four countries.

As highlighted in the previous analysis on Belgrade Airport ( “Pennies From Heaven: Belgrade’s Airport Lease”, 27.12.2017), questions about the transparency of the process and potential hidden provisions may come back to haunt this strategically important privatisation.

Impact

  • The recent agreement signed between the Serbian government and the French airport operator Vinci, is not very transparent. Crucial parts of the contract that could impact public opinion, remain hidden.
  • Despite presenting a beneficial agreement, the Serbian government has yet again demonstrated high levels of informality during its negotiations, a factor that could trigger wider suspicions of questionable practices in the tendering process of Belgrade Airport.