Spain cancels plan to privatise airports

January 24th, 2012 - 2:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Jan 24 (IANS/EFE) Spain said Monday that it has halted the plan to privatise management of the country’s two busiest airports.

Now is not the time to put the significantly undervalued assets of state-owned airport manager AENA on the market, Development Minister Ana Pastor told a press conference.

The initiative launched by the Socialist government that left office last month envisioned the sale of 49 percent of AENA and the separate auctioning of concessions to run Madrid’s Barajas International Airport and El Prat International Airport in Barcelona.

Pastor said the decision to halt the concession process does not signify an abandonment of the aim of transforming AENA, but rather a shift in focus.

Instead of equipping Barajas and El Prat to compete with each other, the goal is to make both airports more competitive with their counterparts in other major European cities, she said.

The firms that had expressed interest in bidding on the Barajas and El Prat operating concessions accepted the government’s decision to end the process, the minister said.

–IANS/EFE
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