Sacyr suggests opening Corvera without waiting for San Javier closure

Rumours abound over this weekend that Murcia region may have come to a tentative “road map” to start discussions over how to open Corvera in 2014.

Sacyr, the builder of Corvera, was supposed to run Corvera airport via its company Aeromur. However, as the years passed and Corvera didn’t open, earlier this year Aeromur went into pre-bankruptcy and a massive debt was passed over to Murcia region. Aeromur, in theory, then lost the Corvera contract, but of course, nobody else is daft enough to want it, so Murcia haven’t officially rescinded the contract, although Aeromur is in breech of contract. Only 10 days ago the President of Murcia said that his executive were busy looking for a new company to take over the airport.

The sticking point has always been that nobody wants to open Corvera until AENA, the national airports operator, closes nearby San Javier. AENA has just renewed license agreements at San Javier for the next 10 years, so it’s not likely that they’re planing on closing it.

Anyway, sources suggest that Murcia and Sacyr have in principle agreed some points to sit down and discuss. Sacyr will take Aeromur out of pre-bankruptcy protection and assume running costs and the start up debt of Corvera (some 200 million euros), which will be repaid over the next 40 years. Murcia region will assume the rest of the debt, return the concession to Sacyr and let Aeromur open Corvera as soon as permits are granted.

The pressure point seems to have been when Murcia took the concession away from Sacyr, leaving the consortium with the real risk of losing their investment in the airport. Seeing as to how Madrid isn’t going to close San Javier (why else would they have just renewed the baggage handling contract for another decade?) both parties in Murcia have dropped their original plans, and seem to be ready to sit down and discuss how best to open and run Corvera, even if they are competing against the AENA airport just 30 km down the road.

Nothing has been announced – it’s just the rumours that appeared in the Murcian press today Sunday.

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