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Corvera, Castellon & Ciudad Real : THIS is how you run a private airport!

By Mr Grumpy - Sun 3rd Aug 2014

Close observers of the news in Spain will be aware that the country's first privately owned Airport launched in 2008.

Ciudad Real Airport, also known as Don Quixote Airport and - in a Ryanair-esque style - South Madrid (despite being located 130Miles away from the capital) came at the cost of EU1.1 Bln.

The airport was built to accommodate some 10 Million passengers per year, in a town of just 78,000 residents and in an area so unpopular with outside visitors that it can only muster between 1,500 to 5,000 hotel room nights per month at best.

Perhaps slightly optimistic projections at a time when Tenerife-Sur was only receiving 7 Mln passengers per year.

Barely 3 years later the airport entered Bankruptcy proceedings with debts of almost EU300 Mln.

However Ciudad Real is placed head and shoulders above Spain's two other privately owned airports - Corvera and Castellon for one simple reason : It did actually manage to become operational.

What is perhaps unknown by observers and critics of Spain's White Elephant airports is that at roughly the same time that Ciudad Real Airport opened, the UK's Southend Airport was purchased by the Eddie Stobbart Group.

Unlike Madrid-South, Southend airport is situated just 36 Miles from the center of London - a City which boasts 5 other airports within a radius of 40 Miles, and as such could probably be forgiven for becoming nothing more than an also-ran.

However, with international flights being established courtesy of Easyjet in April 2012, passenger number reached 617,000 by the end of the year and hit a total of 970,000 during 2013 - almost exactly the same number of arrivals as Reus airport.

Perhaps one of the most interesting points is that the Eddie Stobbart Group purchased the facility for "just" £100 Million (EU168 Mln) - about one-tenth of the costs/ debts accrued by Ciudad Real to date.

Today, the debt-ridden Spanish airport in the arse-end of nowhere is still struggling to attract a credible buyer, despite entering a 7th round of bids over an 8 month period, and with a price tag of just EU80 Mln.

Perhaps the saddest fact of all is this : That nobody will be surprised when history repeats itself when / If Corvera and Castellon airports open and then close soon after.

Related Ciudad Real Airport News

Related Corvera Airport News

Related Castellon Airport News

Comment on this Blog

Well said Mr Grumpy, I fully concur with your observations.
J. Bingley - Thu, 29th Sep 2016
I suggest that the best solution would be to give over BOTH Corvera and Castellon Airports to the Spanish Air Force for training and military purposes thus ridding the tax payers of having to throw good money at these extortionate projects that NO ONE ever wanted or needed. If San Javier ever closes do not think the ex-pat Brits will think of travelling to Corvera. Think again viva Alicante.
J. Bingley - Thu, 29th Sep 2016
Granted, Spain saw a record number of tourists arrive in 2014, so I can understand their enthusiasm for building airports - but why on earth build them in areas of Spain where the tourists have no interest of travelling to ? - or, in the case of Corvera, next to an existing Airport
Simon Hawes - Thu, 1st Jan 2015
Also : Corvera and Castellon, although 'Private', have been propped up with public money, whereas Stobbart International has not.
Tyler - Sat, 9th Aug 2014

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