Auction Drama: Chisinau Airport Scrambles to Relaunch Duty-Free Leases

Chisinau International Airport is scrambling to relaunch its auction for duty-free and sterile zone leases after cancelling the previous tender due to concerns about a lack of competition.

The airport will lease unused spaces designated for Travel Retail & Food and Beverage businesses for a term of 3 years. The bidding period kicks off on March 11th and closes on March 25th. Following that, officials will review applications and supporting documents to determine participant eligibility between March 26th and 28th. The bidding process will culminate in a live auction on March 29th.

The move comes after the previous tender was scrapped because only two companies submitted applications. Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Andrei Spînu, expressed concerns that this limited participation did not ensure a fair and competitive process. He further hinted at possible sabotage attempts and a desire to obstruct transparency, though no specific details were provided.

Adding to the drama, one of the companies vying for the concession, Lagardere Travel Retail, reportedly faces corruption allegations related to a similar bidding process at Otopeni Airport in Romania. The company has since established a presence in Moldova, fueling speculation about its intentions.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

Carolina Străjescu

Carolina Străjescu


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