An abandoned Spanish airport which cost nearly € 1.1 billion to build has been sold for € 10,000 in a bankruptcy auction. Ciudad Real Central Airport, located about 235km south of the capital Madrid, became a symbol of the country’s wasteful spending during a construction boom that ended with the financial crisis of 2008, the year the airport opened. The operator of the airport went bankrupt in 2012 after it failed to draw enough traffic.
Chinese consortium, Tzaneen International, tabled the single € 10,000 bid in last week’s auction Spanish news agency Europa Press said. The receiver had set a minimum price of € 28 million, but if no better bid is received by September, the sale will go through, the news agency said.
Ciudad Real Central Airport
Tzaneen International reportedly plans to invest up to € 100 million in the airport to turn it into a European hub for Chinese companies. It also intends to buy additional land and invest in buildings and equipment as part of its cargo plan.
The offer is for the airport infrastructure only, not adjacent land. Under the terms of the agreement, Tzaneen does not have rights to the passenger terminal or the parking lot.
Central has one of Europe’s longest runways and was designed to handle 2.5 million passengers a year. The construction was heavily funded by the Caja Castilla La Mancha savings bank, the first of Spain’s troubled savings banks to be bailed out in 2010.