The battle between AENA and its tenants enter the political arena. The tenants of the public company, organized in the Aecoa (Spanish Association of Commercial Airport Operators), have sent a letter to all the political parties in which they ask them to vote in favor of regulating by law the rents paid by the establishments from airports.
The measure will be debated this Thursday in the Congress of Deputies, after the representative of the Canarian Coalition Fernando Clavijo brought forward in the Senate an amendment to include in the Land Transport Regulation Law (LOTT) the regulation of the rents it charges the airport manager. At the moment, the result of the proposal is very open, because even different partners of the government coalition (like ERC) have been in favor of regulating these rents.
That is why the president of Aecoa, Manuel Zea, has sent this letter, with which he tries to unbalance the balance. In the letter, to which this newspaper has had access, Zea points out that «more than 70% of companies that operate with
AENA are small and medium-sized companies family members “, thus rejecting the accusations of the airport manager, who has ensured that the reduction in rents would benefit mainly large business groups.
According to Zea only 5 tenants are publicly traded. By contrast, “49% of AENA’s shares are in the hands of private investors, the 2 main shareholders being investment funds TCI and Black Rock.” The organization assures that it has been precisely these funds that have convinced the AENA council to have a strong hand against its tenants.
Both parties tried for months to reach an agreement on the reduction of rents that the manager had to undertake due to the decrease in passenger traffic during the pandemic. AENA even offered a 100% rent reduction during the first months of the pandemic and 50% until September. But the pact did not come, due to the opposition of the large tenants, and now the small tenants face a “limit” situation in which they have to pay the rent in full despite the fact that many of the premises are closed.
«To give an illustrative data of the dimension of the drama, since the pandemic began many commercial contracts have come to an end, and the situation of blockade that
is causing AENA it is not allowing the renewal of records. This, together with the fact that no new contests have been published since May 2021, forces many stores They are currently closed and with no option to recover their activity. An average of 5-7 employees usually work in a 50-100m2 store, so many of our employees no longer have a workplace to return to, ”the letter denounces.
While Aecoa heats up the important vote on Thursday (if this amendment is introduced, AENA’s commercial system will have to be transformed), the courts are studying hundreds of complaints related to this case. His final decision, however, will come much later than impeachment.