(Bloomberg) -- French builder and toll-road giant Vinci SA and Ankara-based Limak Holding plan to bid jointly for a 25-year concession to operate Turkey’s third-busiest airport hub in Antalya.

Vinci and Limak have made an expression of interest in Antalya’s operations to state airport authority DHMI, according to a document seen by Bloomberg and confirmed by people familiar with the matter. A new tender to run the airport will take place on Dec. 1.

The airport is currently operated by Germany’s Fraport AG and Turkey’s TAV Havalimanlari Holding AS. Their concession runs through 2027 after an extension granted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Limak and Vinci declined to comment. 

Turkey’s air travel industry has retained its appeal even as an emerging virus variant prompts new restrictions and fears of crimped demand for flights. Paris airports operator Groupe ADP owns TAV, while Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen is run by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

Some foreign investors have also remained unfazed despite weeks of currency turmoil and inflation soaring near 20% in Turkey. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is seeking full control of its Turkish unit in a deal valued at as much as 25.7 billion liras ($2), while the United Arab Emirates has outlined plans to start a $10 billion fund to support investments in the country.

Even before the emergence of the omicron Covid-19 variant this month, the number of air passengers in Turkey was below its levels before the pandemic. The travel industry is a key source of hard currency for the $765 billion economy.

Fraport has been operating Antalya’s airport since 1999. In March 2007, Fraport -- in partnership with IC Ictas -- won the tender to operate the hub for 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion). TAV bought IC Ictas’s stake for 360 million euros in 2018.

The airport served 20.1 million passengers in the first 10 months of 2021, according to data published by the state airport authority. Antalya, a popular Mediterranean destination, saw 16 million foreign passengers over the same period, making it Turkey’s second-busiest hub for international travelers.

(Updates with background starting in fifth paragraph.)

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.