Dufry swoops for Madrid & Catalonia lots as giant tender in Spain concludes

By Simon Warburton and Luke Barras-hill |

Tenerife Norte-Ciudad de la Laguna Airport

Aena has now concluded the world’s largest duty free tender.

Aena has confirmed Dufry as the sole winner of its tender to operate concessions at Spain’s two largest airports of Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat as well as fellow Catalonia airport operations at Reus and Girona-Costa Brava.

Dufry had already secured the rights to manage and operate airports in Andalusia-Mediterranean and the Balearic Islands, as reported. Its subsidiary, Canariensis, assumed control of operations in the Canary Islands.

The newly awarded contracts follows a retender for the Madrid and Catalonian concessions after they failed to tempt initial interest from bidders.

The four airports now under Dufry’s wing account for 44% of the total Minimum Guaranteed (MAG) rents in for the duty free shops tender.

Confirmation of Dufy’s success marks the conclusion of the world’s premier duty free tender at Spain’s 27 airports, whose tenants are expected to generate an estimated turnover of €18 billion across 86 duty free outlets, plus 76 premises dedicated to other categories.

Bids presented for all airports exceed 2023 rents by +16.3%

The contracts in Aena’s Spanish airports network will run for 12 years (with the option of three annual extensions). Current contracts are in force until 31 October, 2023.

In total, the bids presented for all airports exceed 2023 rents by +6.3% (current 2023 MAG versus that offered for 2024).

Aena insists the figures are concrete evidence of air traffic’s continued bounceback after being decimated during the pandemic, together with the “appeal of its business”.

Aena noted in May that the new tender would assume the same technical and financial requirements of the previous one for operations at Madrid and Cataluña Airports (Barcelona-El Prat, Girona-Costa Brava and Reus).

At that time, Dufry and Lagardère Travel Retail had swooped for the major concessions at 23 Spanish airports, with the latter scooping the rights for the northern airports (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Basque Country).

Winners of the bidding processes will occupy a retail surface area of around 66,000sq m, which represents an increase of more than 40% compared with today.

Aena launched the world’s largest duty free tender at the end of last year.

Dufry’s current contract expires on 31 October with the new concessions due to begin in November.

TRBusiness has approached Aena for comment.

To read the background on this story, see links below:

Dufry & Lagardère win in Spain; fresh bidding round

Spain tender: Bids for four lots exceed MAGs; Lagardère & Dufry in the mix

Spain duty free tender: Operators given 12 weeks in crucial bidding window

Gebr. Heinemann ‘won’t bid’ in Aena airports duty free contest

Europe, Asia and Americas retailers eye duty free tender at Spain’s airports

Aena launches ‘world’s largest duty free shop tender by turnover’

Spain tender: More details emerge on coveted airport duty free contracts

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