AENA workers, represented by Union General de Trabajadores, Comisiones Obreras and Union Sindical Obrero, called strikes on a series of key Easter and summer travel dates to protest Spanish government plans to partially privatise the company, which unions believe will lead to mass redundancies (Dow Jones/Bloomberg, 07-Mar-2011). AENA has urged the workers to return to negotiations, with chairman Juan Ignacio Lema saying that a strike would be "damaging for the entire Spanish economy", which is heavily dependent on summer tourism. Unions have called 11,500 workers, not including air traffic controllers, to go on strike for 22 days between 20-Apr and 31-Aug-2011, including stoppages during the Easter holiday week in April, five days in May, three days in June, six days in July and three days in August. Air traffic controllers are represented by a different union and last month agreed to a new wage deal with the government
AENA workers call strikes over main summer travel periods
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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
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