The Public Works Ministry said Friday that tenders for the two concessions will be invited from June 30, with the winners to be decided by the end of November. The new managers will assume control of the operation of the airports from the spring of next year. The concessions will be for 20 years, with a possible extension of five years. The new managers must uphold all of the agreements reached by labor unions and AENA Aeropuertos.
Barajas posted total revenues last year of €1.056 billion. It handled 23.9 million passengers in the first half of this year, up 0.8 % from a year earlier. El Prat had turnover of €547 million in 2010, with 15.8 million passengers coming through, an increase of 20.6 % year on year.
Public Works Minister José Blanco said the privatization would enhance competition and drive tourism. Three out of every four visitors to Spain arrive by air.
The government is also planning to sell 49 percent of AENA Aeropuertos, but given the current market turbulence has yet to decide whether this should be through an initial public offering, or a placement among private investors.