Turkish airport operator plans more business in Central Asia and Africa
Turkish airport operator TAV Airports is entering the post-COVID-19 standardization period with a host of new investments.
The company is particularly interested in regions where the number of passengers is set to grow.
“We are looking at developing countries, not developed countries. We are focusing on Central Asia and Africa, ”TAV Airports President Sani Şener told Agence Anadolu (AA) on Sunday.
Şener recalled that TAV Airports has already started to operate Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan and that the city is one of the most important centers of the historic Silk Road. He pointed out that there are many tourist opportunities around the trade route.
TAV signed a related deal for a share purchase agreement to buy Almaty International Airport, Kazakhstan’s main gateway, in May 2020. Then in January this year, the Turkish airport operator also signed a memorandum of understanding with the innovative development of Uzbekistan. Ministry to cooperate on joint investments and innovative projects.
“Companies, governments and countries have constantly developed their strategies,” Ener said, stressing that many companies have to change their business model to adapt to the post-pandemic period and that regulations around the world will also have to be. updates by new pandemic. rules.
“We want to adapt to the new era by constantly improving our strategies,” he said, adding that this adaptation, however, is not possible with “the old rules”.
Emphasizing that the travel and tourism sectors are on the same side, Şener said these sectors in each country are trying to persuade their governments to lead the way for the resumption of travel because they are the ones who have suffered the most from the pandemic. . and the associated restrictions.
As for Turkey, Şener said he believes existing travel restrictions should be lifted as soon as Turkey has an accelerated vaccination campaign.
Turkey has lowered the vaccine eligibility age to 40, Turkey’s health minister said on Sunday. The vaccine eligibility age limit, however, does not cover all sectors as some are prioritized, including the tourism and travel industry.
The country has administered more than 33.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since it launched a mass vaccination campaign in mid-January, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
More than 19.69 million people received their first doses, while more than 13.65 million were fully vaccinated, according to ministry data.
Şener further pointed out that what makes travel even more difficult or the investment environment more blurry is that each country has different practices.
“One country requires a 14-day quarantine, another has no quarantine rule at all, but a vaccine is requested, and, for example, a third wants a PCR test to be performed 72 hours before the flight. There was confusion about these practices. Now they are slowly coming to order. he said.
Şener said that during the pandemic, scientists, politicians and economists in all countries were not on the same line, and each looked at the situation from their own perspective.
Expressing that Turkey has done a very smart job with the Safe Tourism Certificate during the pandemic process, Şener said, “Despite the pandemic process, a significant number of tourists came to Turkey last year. I believe this year will be even better.
Turkey is expected to welcome twice as many tourists in 2021 compared to last year, when the effect of restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic was more visible.
Further stating that they have analyzed whether there are any passenger changes in the post-pandemic period, Şener said what they see are passengers who are quickly adapting to digital applications.
Digitization took a big boost during this period and was accepted by passengers, he said.
Şener said there will now be health security screening in addition to standard airport security.
“We saw that the interior of the plane and the airports were very safe and healthy during the pandemic. There have been no issues related to the spread of the pandemic, ”he said.
One of the world’s leading airport operators – TAV Airports operates Antalya Airport, Esenboğa Airport in the capital Ankara, Adnan Menderes Airport in Western Izmir Province, Milas Airport -Bodrum in Bodrum and Gazipaşa-Alanya airport in Alanya near the tourist hotspot Antalya.
TAV also operates Almaty airport in Kazakhstan, Tbilisi and Batumi airports in Georgia, Monastir and Enfidha-Hammamet airports in Tunisia, Skopje and Ohrid airports in Macedonia, Medina airport in Saudi Arabia and Zagreb Airport in Croatia.
The holding company is active in other areas of airport operations such as duty free, catering services, ground handling services, IT, security and management services. It also operates duty-free, food and beverage and other shopping areas at Riga Airport in Latvia.
The company’s global footprint, along with the products and services of its subsidiaries, spans 91 airports in 26 countries.