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Trade Centre Global Investments BV (TCGI) is taking over the operation of Maastricht Aachen Airport (MAA). This company is best qualified to further expand airfreight and passenger services at Limburg’s airport.
This is what the Limburg Provincial Executive has advised the Limburg Parliament and MAA’s works council and staff. By finding a private operator, the Provincial Council of Limburg has completed the task it was set in May 2014 and satisfied the conditions imposed by the municipalities to ensure their contribution to the airport.
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TCGI was selected as the best candidate after a tendering process involving three bidders. TCGI is the parent company of Global GSA Group, Global Airlines Services and ANS among others. It is a company, which has been operating in the aviation industry for over 20 years and represents two of the three freight carriers that fly to MAA (Turkish en Royal Jordanian). TCGI has offices all round the world, including North America, Russia, Israel and Hong Kong. TCGI represents an international network of around 85 airlines. In addition, TCGI has a marketing concept that will enable MAA to increase its transport volumes (becoming the customer’s customer).
The provincial government believes that the airport is an extremely important factor in maintaining Limburg’s economic structure. Jobs will be retained or even expanded. The province contains many internationally oriented companies and hosts major international events. “The airport’s reputation and image have a positive impact on the dynamics of Limburg’s business community. What is more, our airport is a unique regional hub, combining air freight, passenger services, maintenance firms and a training facility for aircraft mechanics,” says executive councillor Twan Beurskens.
Maastricht Aachen Airport was privatised and sold to the UK investment firm Omniport and Dutch construction company Dura Vermeer in 2004. In 2014, the Province of Limburg took over MAA to secure its future following a threatened bankruptcy. The Province joined forces with four South Limburg municipalities to provide funds to tackle overdue maintenance at MAA and to pay the costs of airport facilities, including security and the fire service. The Province will be focusing on public tasks and does not intend to assume a direct operational role in the commercial operation of the airport. The Province remains the owner of the land and buildings, totalling about 180 hectares.
The concession runs until 2026 with an extension option. A provisional contract has now been awarded, which will be finalised on or around 1 March 2016. At that time, a number of suspensive conditions will have to be satisfied. The operation of MAA is expected to be in the hands of TCGI by the summer of 2016. The ten-year contract period allows permanent conditions to be created in order to have a modern, well equipped, professionally run and competitive airport, even after the term of the concession has expired. MAA is an integral part of the Province’s basic infrastructure and the economic policy context.
TCGI Managing Director Ismail Durmaz is delighted to have won the concession. “We have every confidence in the future of Maastricht Aachen Airport and will do our utmost to put the airport on the world map”, says Mr Durmaz.
As Ype de Haan, chairman of the Supervisory Board, puts it: “The airport and its staff can face the future with confidence. It’s great that, thanks to a successful concession process, Limburg’s airport can develop into a major infrastructural asset. TCGI considers itself to be a company with sufficient drive to make the concession a success. Working with the stakeholders is one of its top priorities. The Supervisory Board is looking forward to TCGI’s arrival at MAA”.