Spain’s Ciudad Real Airport became virtually obsolete before the Kovid-19 outbreak, acting primarily as a drop-off point for hunting hobbyists visiting the region’s famous country estates Wanted
The arrival of coronoviruses also put an end to the demand that breaks the owner’s development plans, CR International Airport S.L. But instead of facing the prospect of collapse, the company reinforced the hub as a home for grounded aircraft, with the ability to store more than 300 through a series of renovation projects.
“When the epidemic spread just after the hunting season was over in February, we received dozens of requests to stop the planes,” said Francisco Luna, chief executive officer at CR International, which purchased Ciudad Real in 2016.
The main taxiway has already been converted, and accommodates half of the approximately 80 jets parked on the hub. With three more reconstructions underway to allow more arrivals, the CEO said the hub is profitable.
According to the aviation database Cirium, Ciudad Real’s axles are worth more than 8,100 aircraft sitting idle worldwide, or 31% of the global fleet. There has not been an expected resurgence in international travel, as fresh waves of infection and travel restrictions kill demand from the US to Australia. According to the Airport Council International Europe, smaller airports are facing their own financial crisis, with one in four struggling to stop the insurgency without European aid from the state.
Another Spanish beneficiary of a plethora of grounded aircraft is Teruel Airport, 275 kilometers (171 mi) east of Madrid, which expects a 25% increase in part due to aircraft storage this year. The regional and city authority owns the hub, which was designed to maintain, recycle and stow the aircraft. France’s Chateraux airport near Paris is more focused on storage than travel, with even airlines wanting to store more aircraft.
Located about 220 kilometers southwest of the Spanish capital, Ciudad Real was built using Madrid’s main airport to reduce high volumes of traffic. Yet after an investment of hundreds of millions of euros, the anticipated demand never came and was discontinued in 2012, even serving as the film set for Spanish director Pedro Almodovávar. Like other hubs spread across the country during a real-estate bonanza in the early 2000s, the media called it “Ghost Airport”.
CRIA, known as CR International, resumed operations in September 2019, with a business plan based on cargo flights, aircraft maintenance and attracting private jets – in which about 300 viruses landed before the arrival .
“Before the epidemic, we started building four hangars,” Luna said, adding that “they should be ready in a year, because we expected logistics and maintenance to represent 90% of revenue. But right now 80% of this is coming from parking. “
Spain’s passenger traffic was down 80% year-over-year in September and Catalonia, such as Lleida at the cost of the Mediterranean and in the northeastern region of Catalonia, has also started expanding its parking and maintenance facilities. Their combined traffic in 2019 was just 184,000 passengers, while 26 airports recorded over a million.
(This story is published from a wire agency feed without textual modifications.)
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