Fraport to sell out at Saint Petersburg Pulkovo: part two – domestic focus and Russian interest

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Fraport had a hard enough time of it when it dipped its toe into the Russian airport scene well over a decade ago, in the form of taking an equity stake in the underperforming Saint Petersburg Pulkovo Airport.

It would be fair to say that they were both good for each other, but all good things come to an end – in this case by way of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, immediately after which Fraport walked away from the operational side for which it had responsibility.

But Fraport couldn’t sell its 25% share, as the contract did not permit it to do so until 2025. Now local news sources say a sale could be possible by the end of 2023.

Western operators will surely eschew the ‘opportunity’. But Russian operators (and there are many) assuredly will not, and bids could also emerge from some countries that have offered tacit support to Russia, including those in the existing and to-be-expanded BRICS bloc.

The airport has remained profitable, and it was the location of an innovative ‘open skies’ policy just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pulkovo certainly has potential, but it won’t be realised for a long, long time.

This is part two of a two-part report.

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