Austrians still interested in airport partnership

THE VIENNA airport is still interested in cooperating with the airport in Bratislava.

"We are still convinced that cooperation between the two airports could be a great opportunity for the economic development of the Bratislava airport and the whole region," Herbert Kaufmann, head of the board of directors of the Flughafen Wien company, told the SITA newswire.

However, he did not elaborate on the how the neighbouring airports could cooperate, or how close the partnership could be. Kaufmann said these issues should first be discussed with the partners.

The Vienna airport already attempted to tighten its ties with the Bratislava airport when it won a tender for a 66-percent stake in the Letisko M.R. Štefánika - Airport Bratislava company. It was a member of the TwoOne consortium with the Penta group and an Austrian bank.

When the new government of Robert Fico cancelled the tender, the consortium said it would turn to the arbitration court; however, the "final decision on the issue of possible arbitration has not been made yet," Kaufmann said.

The Slovak government cancelled the privatisation of the majority stake of the Bratislava airport, which is in a great need of investment. But it is currently reconsidering cooperating with foreign investors.

Fico said they would consider a partnership as long as the foreign partner would not have management control.

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