Almost 10,000 square meters – that’s all the commercial spaces in Otopeni airport, which were the “apple of discord” in a scandal that arose recently, with the discovery of a record-breaking bribe of over 22 million euros.
It is the first time that the company communicates the information regarding the total commercial area in the Otopeni airport and the number of tenants.
“In the premises of Henri Coandă International Airport, 26 tenants carry out their commercial activity. The total commercial area related to non-aeronautical activities is 9,900 square meters, which includes both the rented areas (of which approximately 5,000 square meters are outdoor areas), and the areas related to joint ventures for public catering and retail profiles” , responded the representatives of the Communication service of the Bucharest National Airport Company (CNAB) to the ZF request sent two weeks ago.
Compared to a commercial center, the spaces in the Henri Coandă airport would thus be the equivalent of about a third of the Veranda mall, located in the Obor area of Bucharest, for example.
From the point of view of traffic, if Veranda, a project of 30,000 square meters, is visited annually by about 7 million people, 12.6 million passengers passed through Otopeni last year, who also transited the commercial area.
If a mall can run on average sales of 4,000 euros/m2 annually, ZF information shows that in the airport the sales per m2 could be more than twice as high, so the sales from the 10,000 m2. can be estimated at 100 million euros annually.
At the end of March, the prosecutors from the National Anticorruption Directorate ordered the criminal prosecution of the former general director of the Bucharest National Airport Company (CNAB) George-Alexandru Ivan, currently an employee of the same national company, for allegedly receiving a bribe 22, 4 million euros.
According to the DNA prosecutors, between January 11 and November 8, 2022, he would have demanded several sums of money from a businessman, an associate in a commercial company, and from the general manager of another company on four occasions, which led, cumulatively , at the mentioned record-value. In exchange for the money, George-Alexandru Ivan would have let it be believed that he had influence over the Minister of Transport and the general director of CNAB, whom he would have induced to extend for various periods of time (one year or five years) the contracts for the exploitation commercial spaces inside the Otopeni airport.
Under the conditions of this scandal, real estate consulting companies say that, taking into account their experience in managing commercial projects, they could assume a property management contract in the airport, if they had access.
Currently, in Otopeni airport, only two companies – Dnata Catering and Millenium Pro Design – are responsible, since 2010, for the revenues resulting from commercial activity. Among the names found in Otopeni airport are Burger King, City Grill, Brioche Dorée, Ted’s Coffee, Gloria Jean’s, Carrefour retailer, Obsentum perfume boutique and others.
In the summer of 2022, the Bucharest Airports National Company, which also manages the Otopeni airport, announced the auction of approximately 5,500 square meters of commercial space at the largest terminal in the country and at Băneasa airport, but halfway in February 2023, at ZF’s request, the representatives of the National Company reported that the procedure had not yet been completed and was ongoing. The current contracts expired in December 2022 and have already been extended by six months.
The total area planned to be put up for auction would include “both spaces currently under the management of joint venture associations for the public catering and travel retail profiles, as well as additional spaces currently under the direct management of CNAB”, as CNAB representatives said last year. Unlike the current contracts, which assume a tariff in the form of a percentage of the profit, the new contracts will assume a taxing of the merchants in the form of a percentage of the revenues achieved.
In the context of the auction announced last year, the French giant Lagardère, active in retail for travelers, recently announced that it has an investment budget of over 30 million euros just for the development of Otopeni airport, thus generating over 500 jobs. The group, which operates locally through the company Lagardère Travel Retail, has outlets in transit areas, but also in shopping malls and business centers.
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