The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos, explained this Tuesday that the public company Aena has reviewed its strategic plan and will not make layoffs. ANDl Airport manager, he has pointed out, is going to postpone to the airlines the payment of the parking fees of planes for a period of six months without interest, with the aim of alleviating the impact of the coronavirus on the airlines.
Ábalos has assured that the airline sector is assuming “unprecedented” declines in operations given the mobility restrictions within and outside the national territory and the closure of borders.
The airport manager, yes, ” has deferred the payment of dividends ” because it is going to live a complicated year ”, but it is going to lean on the shoulder.
Specifically, Aena has announced to the CNMV that it has discontinued this Thursday traffic and business forecasts for the year 2020, published at the end of February, due to the drop in traffic due to the coronavirus crisis, while also reporting the implementation of a cost-saving plan to protect the case.
The new plan will be based on the renegotiation of service contracts, the elimination of expenses and the cessation of new non-essential contracts. This adjustment is aimed at obtaining a reduction of the average monthly cash outflow of about 43 million euros for operating expenses. It has also paralyzed its investment program, which will reduce cash outflows by around 52 million a month.
The company has also highlighted that it has 1,350 million euros of cash and credit facilities, to which are added its capacity to make issues through the ‘Euro Commercial Paper’ program of up to 900 million, of which 350 million have been issued of euros. In addition, he stressed that it is in “very advanced” negotiations with various entities financial resources to obtain new facilities and loans that he plans to sign “in the coming days”. Aena announced on March 23 the reorganization of airport facilities to adapt them to the real demand for traffic and to the measures included in the declaration of the state of alarm, closing terminals and spaces.
Passenger traffic falls
Traffic reduction touched 97% on March 24
The airports of the Aena network are considered infrastructures of general interest, so they must maintain a degree of activity that guarantees service to commercial aviation if necessary, as well as other types of aviation such as air cargo or transport services. Police, Civil Guard, sea rescue or organ transplant, among others. The capacity adjustment, the cost cut and the decrease in the monthly operating cash outflow will be modulated according to the evolution of the traffic level.
The situation caused by the coronavirus, the decree on the state of alarm and the other restrictions by the countries with respect to travel have led to a cumulative drop until March 24 of 45.5% of passenger traffic compared to the same month of 2019. That day, the reduction in traffic touched 97% compared to March 24, 2019, so it is not possible to “quantify a reasonable estimate” of the evolution of the business for the year.
Aena decided last Tuesday to postpone its general shareholders’ meeting, scheduled for March 31 and April 1.
El Prat airport
Only part of T1 will be operational from Friday
Ábalos recalled that at the Barcelona- El Prat airport T2 closes due to the mobility restrictions and the descent of flights, which have been reduced more than 95%. All operations will be concentrated in T1, in areas A and D, with no operations in the so-called T1 sword, which will remain closed. too.
Ábalos recalled that mobility in any form of transport has been reduced considerably. Specifically, the transportation on medium-distance trains and birds a has fallen 95%, air transport is down 90% and the movement of people in the commuter subways has also almost decreased by 95%. By road, commuting, working days have been reduced by 70% and on weekends, more than 90%. In his opinion, this is a sign that the regulations of not leaving home and of not traveling except in cases of extreme necessity or going to work are being complied with. Has announced that the Health personnel will be able to travel for free on certain medium-distance trains provided and when they show that they are going to work in cities like Madrid.