New Tunisian airport ready for November opening


Turkish airports operator TAV has declared ready for opening a new international airport at Enfidha in southeast Tunisia, with a capacity of five million passengers a year.

“The equipment and the runway have been tested,” TAV’s chief executive Haluk Bilgi told journalists. “We open up in November.”

French news agency AFP reports the airport cost an estimated 550 million euros (818 million dollars) and Bilgi said that “in spite of the crisis, construction took place on schedule and without pressure.”

Situated about 100 kilometres from Tunis and named Enfidha-Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Airport, after Tunisia’s head of state, the airport is among “the most modern and best equipped in Africa.”

TAV will operate it the airport for 40 years, under a concession worth 400 million euros signed in 2007. The Turkish firm already operates Monastir airport, less than 100 kilometres away, AFP adds.

The airport has a 90 000 square metre terminal and can extend its capacity to 10 million and more passengers a year. The project will create 5000 permanent jobs.

TAV is counting on Tunisia’s tourism industry, which has led to a new coastal resort, with a port and an industrial zone being built in the area.

The operator, which has ceded 15% of its local subsidiary to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, put in 35% of the investment, while the rest was paid by international donors.