Just 14 of Spain’s 48 airports run by the national authority turn a profit

AENA’s stock exchange debut has forced it to become more transparent in its accounts

Passengers at Barcelona's El Prat airport.
Passengers at Barcelona's El Prat airport.EFE

Only 14 of the 48 airports run by Spain’s AENA national airports authority closed 2014 with a pre-tax profit, according to annual results released by the government-controlled body on Friday.

In a filing with the CNMV stock market watchdog, AENA said it had lost €42 million as a result of the loss-making airports but others generated €1.89 billion last year.

Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez-Barajas International Airport – Spain’s busiest air hub – leads the pack in terms of revenue and gross operating profit (EBITDA).

Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez-Barajas International Airport leads the pack in terms of revenue

Nevertheless, Barcelona’s El Prat generated the highest pre-tax profits, followed by Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife Sur and Gran Canaria.

The airports that reported the biggest losses before taxes last year were those in La Palma, Santiago de Compostela and Vigo.

The little-used Castellón and Ciudad Real airports – both of which have come to be viewed as white elephants because of the huge amounts of public money that local politicians spent on building them – are not part of the AENA network and so did not appear on the list.

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AENA made its debut on the stock exchange on February 11, which has obliged it to increase its financial transparency and provide an airport-by-airport breakdown of its accounts.

In terms of EBITDA – earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization – Madrid-Barajas brought in €567 million followed by El Prat (€510 million) and Palma de Mallorca (€181 million).

Four airports ended the year with pre-tax losses of over €10 million: La Palma (-€18 million); Santiago (-€15 million); Vigo (€10.85 million); and Pamplona (-€10.5 million).