Ciudad Real Airport sold for only €10,000
Ciudad Real Airport, a Spanish “ghost airport” which cost around €1.1 billion (£760 million) to build, is set to be purchased by Chinese investment company Tzaneen International for a mere €10,000 (£6,900).
The airport did not receive any other bids in a bankruptcy auction held by a court in central Spain.
It is one of several super-expensive construction projects in Spain that fell on their face when the global financial crisis hit and now only serves as a reminder of wasteful spending.
In April 2012, the airport was closed after operating for only three years.
Ciudad Real Airport, previously known as Don Quijote Airport and South Madrid Airport.
Was the airport planned to fail from day one?
A report by the BBC indicates that the airport was planned to fail by investors who benefited from contracts awarded to their own companies.
The official bankruptcy report for the airport appears to back this claim. It said:
“The loans taken out were enough to cover the construction phase but no thought was given to the investment needed to make the airport function as a business.
“The construction itself of the airport provided the first profit for the investors because they signed contracts with their own construction companies.”
It was originally put up for auction two years ago, with an asking price of €100m. However, no buyer was found.
Tzaneen wants to turn the airport into a hub for importing Chinese products
Ciudad Real Airport has a 4km runway, which is long enough for the world’s largest passenger jet, a terminal building which can accommodate up to 10 million visitors a year, and its cargo facilities a maximum of 47,000 tonnes a year.
If there is no better bid by September then the sale is expected to go through.
If it does get its hands on the airport then Tzaneen intends to use it as a hub for importing Chinese products into the European market, according to an e-mail sent by local public relations firm Estudio de Comunicacion.