It cost €1bn (£694m) to build and was on sale for a knockdown price of €40m, but now looks set to be sold for just €10,000. Ciudad Real airport, one of the most notorious emblems of Spain’s economic crash, has found a buyer.
A Chinese-led consortium has emerged as the only bidder for the deserted site 100 miles south of Madrid, for an apparent bargain price after no one met the much reduced valuation. Its facilities include a runway long enough to land an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, along with a passenger terminal that could handle 10m travellers per year. It is also in pristine condition because it has barely been used, having opened to international flights in 2010 as the eurozone crisis raged, only to shut two years later.
Appropriately for such a vainglorious project, the La Mancha airport was previously named after the region’s most famous, and deluded, literary export: Don Quixote.
The town and the surrounding region need the investment. Unemployment in the Castilla La-Mancha region stands at 28.5% and at 22% in Ciudad Real. The town of 75,000 people was founded in the 14th century and is of little economic importance. It is about two hours’ drive from Madrid, although a high-speed rail connection has reduced the journey time to 50 minutes, putting it within range of a commute to the capital. However, the high-speed line does not have a station connecting to the airport, an oversight symbolised on the site by an incomplete walkway for rail passengers.
J’ai trouvé cette nouvelle amusante puisqu’au Québec on aime bien dire que la dette n’est pas un problème puisque nous avons des « actifs »…
L’exemple de l’aéroport de Ciudad Real, construit pour 1 milliard d’euros et vendu 10 000 euros, nous rappelle qu’on peut uniquement connaître la valeur d’un actif lorsqu’on essaye de le vendre… Les surprises peuvent parfois être mauvaises…