Spain's Aena kicked off the bidding on Friday for a 28-hectare plot near Madrid-Barajas where the airport operator plans to build a mega-hub for air and ground freight to capitalise on a boom in logistics. The move is the first step in a plan announced earlier this year to build the hub, called Airport City, near Aena's largest airport which it also hopes will become an international flight hub connecting Asia to Europe and Latin America. Potential investors face a qualifying phase in which they must commit to providing 125% or more of the initial capital expenditure, which Aena estimated at 107 million euros ($124 million), in exchange for a majority stake in a joint venture.
Spanish airport operator Aena could lose up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion) of revenues between 2020 and 2025 after Spain passed a law on Thursday pegging retail tenants' rent to air traffic until footfall reaches pre-pandemic levels. The much-disputed minimum annual guaranteed rents owed to Aena will be reduced in direct proportion to the passenger flow in each local airport, according to the text of the law, and will remain as such until travel returns to 2019 figures. The legal change is set to protect all food, drink and retail businesses whose rental contracts with Aena were active on March 14, 2020, the day Spain went into COVID-19 lockdown.