Deafening silence in Spain

By Administrator |

The clock would appear to be ticking fast if Spanish airports authority Aeropuertos Espanoles y Navegacion Aerea (AENA) is still serious about tendering its duty free and travel retail airport shops currently run by Aldeasa.

The contract expiry date for all of these shops at multiple airport locations (excluding Madrid which is on a separate contract) is December 31 2006. Some companies who are very interested in bidding for these locations have told The Business that a good lead time will be essential for any newcomer to establish themselves, should AENA not choose Aldeasa.
For now, AENA is remaining uncharacteristically silent on the subject and has not responded to The Business? questions on the subject. Whether this means it is still deciding what it should do, or it is talking to Aldeasa and its new owners (Autogrill/Altadis) about a new concession extension remains to be seen.
It was as far back as January 2005 when AENA came out all guns blazing saying it would tender Aldeasa's contracts. These were agreed in March 1997, just prior to Aldeasa's privatisation in October of the same year. Aldeasa has a separate contract arrangement with AENA for Madrid Barajas airport through to December 2012, but it will be keen to retain its other Spanish airports shops business.
Comment: Any new tender process would require an outsider to put massive infrastructure into place by December 2006 in order to operate efficiently at multiple locations. If AENA opts for individual airport tenders this would also raise significant cost questions.
It would, in turn, have to invest in significant internal infrastructure to manage the process, both before and after the bidding process.
Bundling up airport contracts into regional packages might, therefore, be a more manageable option. Alternatively, Aldeasa can agree to pay AENA what it wants and that will be the end of it.

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