AENA, Spain’s airport operator, is estimated to be worth about EUR30 billion (USD40 billion) including debt (Bloomberg, 16-Jan-2011). The Spanish government, which is selling 49% of state-owned AENA as part of plans to cut public sector debt, will approach investment banks to advise on the sale in coming weeks. JPMorgan, UBS and Morgan Stanley are reportedly all interested in the mandate.
AENA reportedly worth EUR30 billion
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AENA: Spain's airport operator must cut charges, but airline yields are already falling
After much delay, in late Jan-2017 the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the airport regulation document setting AENA's airport charges for the next five years. The headline numbers include a 2.2% annual decline in charges from 2017 to 2021, equivalent to an overall cut of 11% through the period.
The legal framework prevents tariff increases before 2025, but the outcome was in contrast with the Spanish airport group's own proposal to freeze charges. Strong traffic growth of 11% to an all time high level of 230 million passengers in 2016 may have influenced the regulator's decision.
In response, AENA has decided to remove an incentive mechanism which rewards airlines for traffic growth with airport charge discounts. The removal of discounts is estimated to offset the 11% reduction by one third.
In fact, this discount scheme has been quite effective in stimulating traffic growth in recent years. However, traffic growth in Spain was also boosted in 2016 by high airline capacity growth switched from other (risk) markets. Airline yield declines are probably noticeably heavier than AENA's regulated price reduction.
Global Airport Development Conference report: Trump, Brexit, pipelines and PPPs. Part 2
This report on the Global Airport Development Conference held in Lisbon on 29-Nov to 01-Dec-2016 covers the proceedings of Day 2 of the event.