Premium ‘Ghost airport’ worth €1bn sold for just & euro;10K
Spain’s “ghost airport” – that cost hundreds of millions of euros to build and which became a notorious symbol of the excess of the country’s bonanza years has been sold to a group of British and Asian investors for just €10,000 (£7,000).
Ciudad Real airport airport, in the central Castilla-La Mancha region, has been closed since 2012, despite opening only four years prior to closure.
The regional authorities raised an estimated €1billion in private investment to build it. They had hoped it would draw millions of visitors each year to Ciudad Real and the surrounding area, which is known as the home of Miguel de Cervantes’s fictional knight Don Quixote.
But the airport itself soon became seen as a quixotic venture, drawing just 33,000 travellers in 2010.
‘Ghost airport’ worth €1bn sold for just €10K The airport was previously made available at a price of €80 million, with that sale expiring on July 10 without any takers, allowing lower offers to be made.
The purchaser is Tzaneen International, a group of British and Asian investors, who were the only group to have made an offer in an auction.
Although three weeks remain for counter offers, little interest has been reported in the airport on the part of other companies.
The deal will include the landing strip, hangars, the control tower and other buildings. However, the terminal and parking facilities were not part of the sale.
Despite paying such a low price for the facilities, Tzaneen International said in a statement that it plans to invest between €60m and €100 million in the airport and that “several Chinese companies are interested in making it into their main point of entry into Europe”.
‘Ghost airport’ worth €1bn sold for just €10K The airport was built during Spain’s decade-long economic boom, which was driven by a property bubble that burst in 2008, sparking a severe recession. The closed airport is one of many white elephants across the country which have become synonymous with the overspending of those years.
Controversy has surrounded the airport since before its completion, when local authorities announced it would be known as “Madrid South airport” despite being 125 miles from the Spanish capital.
Initially, Ryanair was the only carrier to use it, before abandoning the facility. The regional government then subsidised three flights a week by low-budget airline Vueling before it too pulled out.