With the pandemic sinking air traffic in Spain and, therefore, Aena’s benefits, the public company has no choice but to resume the part of its business that today can be a goldmine for its strategy: the real estate development plans for the Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat airports, with logistics at the center of their plans.
Aena is aware of one of the few sectors that has not been penalized as a result of the health and economic crisis is logistics, where many companies are already showing their strength. “It seems that there is a market opportunity to be able to resume the launch of the first floors associated with these plans in 2021,” company sources point out to Invertia.
Why? “This is due to the obvious logistical vocation of these lands, their location (first metropolitan line), and the level of preparation in which they are (urbanized or semi-urbanized) ”, they add.
It should be remembered that we are talking about 549 net profitable hectares, of which 349 hectares correspond to the lands of Madrid and 200 to those of Barcelona. In both spaces, Aena is looking for investment partners for the development of a logistics center, offices or hotels; and in the case of the capital even a shopping center.
However, the airport manager does not want to rush. “Given the changing current situation, this forecast is reviewed periodically and in no case will there be precipitation in the launch,” It will only be done if there is real market interest, and recognition of its fair value”, He points out to Invertia.
In March, just before the state of alarm was decreed, Deloitte won the public tender tendered by Aena for the ‘Advice for the process of evaluating offers for the implementation of real estate plans at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airports’. The contract has an amount of 1.4 million euros (taxes included) and a duration of 18 months.
However, less than two weeks later Aena chose to delay the launch of these processes, “waiting to have sufficient visibility to assess the appropriate time to resume them without penalizing the value of the assets,” as explained by the manager when he presented losses of 107.6 million euros until September 2020.
In this sense, the Covid has given Aena one of lime and another of sand. On the one hand, it has curbed passenger traffic and their air revenues, as well as commercial profits at airports. But, on the other hand, this crisis has generated a boom logistics that the company can take advantage of to relaunch its real estate business.
All this under a very pessimistic scenario. During the last shareholders meeting, Maurici Lucena, President and CEO of the airport manager, stated that “For sure” they will end the year in the red after the fall in air traffic caused by the impact of Covid, especially in the tourism sector.
However, this project dates back to the previous PP government. In 2018, the then Minister of Public Works, Íñigo de la Serna, presented the real estate plan in the vicinity of the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, in which he assured that the investment effort of public-private collaboration of almost 3,000 million euros will be required over the 40 years in which it is planned to develop a business and logistics complex.
From this point on, the manager proceeded to contract the main consultancies related to the Adjacent Land Use Analysis process. However, a little over a year ago, during the presentation of Aena’s strategic plan, the number of net profitable hectares was reduced to 549.
These Real estate projects in Barajas and El Prat are part of the master plans from the airports themselves. In the case of Madrid, it is planned to invest 1,571 million euros for the period for the period 2017-2026; while the Barcelona master plan will have an investment of 1,260 million euros.
Aena is also working on defining plans for development at the airports of Palma de Mallorca, Malaga-Costa del Sol where there is availability of land for the development of complementary airport activities. Those expected to follow Valencia and Seville.