La Verdad de Murcia says that Aeromur -the company supposed to be running Corvera airport- and the Murcian government had a hell of a meeting last week in which Aeromur told the Murcians that they were being laughed at by Madrid, and sidelined by AENA.
The row comes as Murcia confessed that it still doesn’t have a firm opening date for Corvera airport, and AENA hints that it won’t allow San Javier flights to be diverted to Corvera until a 70 million euro compensation is paid.
Director General of Aeromur, Ballesta, told La Verdad that he would not permit a renegotiation of his company’s contract with Murcia and that he expected the region to start paying his company as planned, even if Corvera doesn’t open. If the full contract with Aeromur starts, Murcia could be paying millions a year in order to keep a fully staffed airport open with not a single commercial flight being allowed to land or take off.
“The only renogiation we will accept is one that starts to allow us to at least manage the investment we have made in this airport” said Ballesta.
UPyD, the opposition party, tabled a question in the regional parliament on Friday asking for a firm opening date, and asking what would happen with the Aeromur contract, as it appears increasingly unlikely that Corvera will open at all this year.
Corvera has cost Murcia airport over 200 million euros, and several hundred million more in securing private investment in the airport. Meanwhile, state owned airport operator AENA continued to pour tens of millions into upgrading nearby San Javier airport, – 60 million in the last five years- and doesn’t plan on closing it without hefty compensation from Murcia.
UPyD points out that there is no point in having two world class airports just 35 kms from one another, and under an hour away from Alicante, an ever larger airport.
Aeromur also warns that AENA appears to be negotiating with airlines to shift profitable lines from San Javier to Alicante, in order to keep the lines. Corvera will be run in competition to the AENA network.
However, the private companies that back Aeromur want to see some return on their investment, and are planning legal action if Murcia doesn’t start paying them something.
Hopefully, if AENA is planning to negotiate landing rights with airlines, we poor sods down here at Almeria may start seeing a few more routes being added. They can’t all go to Alicante!