Ena confirms the $2,400 million investment in Barajas and believes that not expanding Prata is a “very serious mistake.”

Aena confirms that one of the priorities of its revised strategic plan until 2026 will be the expansion of Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport. The project, which was already proposed by government president Pedro Sánchez at the last tourism fair Fitur, will require an investment of 2.4 billion euros. “This will be the airport with the greatest growth potential in Europe,” Sanchez said.

The airport manager updated the current strategic plan to 2026 and during a presentation to investors announced that investments in Barajas will not only focus on the next airport regulatory document (Dora), but will also cover the following investment projects.

Aena President and CEO Maurici Lucena also said the company is not interested in investing in London’s Heathrow Airport, which Ferrovial wants to exit. “It’s not a natural goal,” he told investors. Ena already has London Luton. However, it will analyze other possibilities for acquiring infrastructure outside Spain.

Later, in a conversation with the press, Lucena assured the media that Aena “has nothing stopping it from analyzing mature airports, but this is not the main task in general.” – he clarified over Heathrow.

The company is reviewing its strategic plan as it experiences a “nice moment” due to a rebound in tourism. “2023 marked the end of the pandemic in air transport. “It was a record year.” “Without Aena airports, tourism would not be possible,” he concluded.

“We are changing the forecasts of the pattern of our activities,” he justified in relation to the purely airport and commercial sectors – airport stores.

In this strategic plan, Aena places four airports in the project phase: Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas, Tenerife South, Tenerife North-Ciudad de la Laguna and Cesar Manrique-Lanzarote. This is not the case with the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat project (T1 and T2), which is at the stage of pre-design work, the so-called functional design. The same thing happens with the cities of Malaga-Costa del Sol, Alicante-Elche, Miguel Hernandez, Valencia, Ibiza, Menorca, Bilbao, Santander and Melilla.

“Very serious mistake”: not expanding El Prat

“It seems to me a very serious mistake not to expand Barcelona airport. This will negatively affect the competitiveness of the Catalan and Spanish economies,” he assured the media, especially when “Madrid airport reaches 90 million passengers. This will be a drag on the Catalan economy. The ball is still in the Generalitat government’s court.” “Administratively, it’s very difficult,” he suggested, compared to other airfields.

Yes, there will be changes at Barcelona Airport T1, but not because of expansion, but rather because of baggage management to make it faster.

He also noted that “the transfer of El Prat to the Generalitat was never considered” and that given Ena’s ownership structure it would be “extremely difficult.” “Private and public shareholders know that our second largest asset is Barcelona Airport and we must take actions that will benefit the company and its shareholders.”

Aena expects 294 million passengers to use Spanish airports this year, with the number exceeding 300 million next year.

“Airports will need more capacity and together with the airlines we must propose an investment profile to increase this Dora 3 capacity” until 2032. “The goals we set a year and a half ago are outdated. » Commercial revenue alone is projected to grow 48% in 2026 compared to 2019.

This year, the company forecasts its Ebitda, the gross result, will rise 20% from 2023, when it stood at 3 billion euros. In addition, according to the company, which is 51% controlled by the state, it wants 80% of its earnings to go towards dividends.

“Nothing that came out” of the “Koldo case” “had any impact on Ena.”

Regarding the Koldo case, Lucena indicated that “we have nothing to do with what became known about the award of contracts”; He noted that “in the awards of Adif and Puertos, an order was approved requiring transfer at the same price, but this is a ministerial order for an award that was not ours. This is the third derivative. Nothing that came out affected Ena. I knew him from publications in the media,” he concluded.

“Nothing invites us to an internal audit because nothing that has come to light indicates that Aena was involved, but we are checking carefully because there are companies from these companies that have previously operated. We have the common sense and care to check whether they had a relationship with us and whether it is ideal, which it is,” he added.

Regarding the “famous day”, he noted, referring to the meeting of former Development Minister José Luis Abalos with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez regarding the tapes that Ena had: “Judge, I have not seen them, we will hand them over to you. That’s all,” Lucena assured.

“Ena does not keep any copies. “We received an order that obliged us to protect them, a few months later the judge asked us to extradite her, we have nothing,” he repeated to the media. As for the presence of businessman Victor de Aldama that night: “I have no idea. Don’t know. We do not have access to individual passenger information. “It depends on the airlines.”

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