Yesterday evening Aena announced they have awarded the ramp handling licenses for their 43 airports. In November, Aena received 167 bids for its 19 major airports. Beforehand, in March, they received 10 bids for the ramp handling licenses in the 22 Spanish airports with less than a million passengers per year within the first phase of the handling tender. Now, they have awarded all the licenses together, which will be in effect for the next seven years.
With the new licenses Aena offers more competitive ground handling solutions to airlines, adapting their pricing structure to the particular needs. In terms and conditions of the tender, Aena fixed maximum prices and urged the operators to lower their fares.
The first conclusion we come to is that Iberia Airport Services has been awarded the highest number of licenses among all the companies. At first Iberia was interested in a few licenses only, but they changed strategies. Then Aena increased the maximum handling prices, and that could have been something decisive for Iberia to end up placing bids for a license in every Spanish airport. In the end they have been awareded 17 licenses. After them, Globalia Handling (until now Groundforce) in a joint venture with Iberhandling, has succeeded in obtaining 12 licenses. Aviapartner and WFS Servicios Aeroportuarios have surprised some with 7 and 5 licenses respectively. Meanwhile, Swissport managed to get 6 licenses.
Also, it is worth noting that Menzies Aviation did not get any license in spite of the fact that they placed bids for every one. Lesma or Clece did not get any licenses either. Acciona has been awarded only one despite placing bids for almost every airport. With regard to the date when the new licenses will be operational, sources from Iberia confirmed to this office that the new ramp licenses will be effective in no less than 4 months time.
The license award and the definition of the tender have been spread in two phases. On the one hand, the licenses for the airports with more than a million passengers per year, together with La Gomera and El Hierro (which share the same license) have been distributed as follows:
- Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas will have a license for Iberia. The second license will go to Globalia Handling/Iberhandling. And the third license has been granted to WFS Servicios Aeroportuarios.
- Barcelona will have three licenses too: the first one will be for Iberia. This is a great success for the Spanish company since they do not currently have a license in this airport. The second will go to Globalia/Iberhandling and the third one has been awarded to Swissport.
- Palma de Mallorca will have their three ramp handling licenses distributed among Globalia/Iberhandling, Acciona and Iberia.
- Málaga-Costa del Sol will have three licenses too: Iberia, Globalia/Iberhandling and Aviapartner.
- Alicante-Elche: Aena awarded one license to Iberia, another to Swisport and the last one to Globalia/Iberhandling.
- Asturias will have two ramp handling licenses: Iberia and WFS Servicios Aeroportuarios.
- Bilbao, with two licenses as well, will be operated by Globalia/Iberhandling and Iberia.
- Fuerteventura: A license for Globalia/Iberhhandling and another for Aviapartner.
- Girona-Costa Brava: Iberia and Aviapartner.
- Gran Canaria: Iberia and Globalia/Iberhandling.
- Ibiza: Iberia and Globalia/Iberhandling.
- Lanzarote: Swissport and Aviapartner.
- Menorca: Iberia and Aviapartner.
- Reus: Swissport and Iberia.
- Santiago de Compostela: Iberia and WFS Servicios Aeroportuarios.
- Seville: Aviapartner and WFS Servicios Aeroportuarios.
- Tenerife North: Globalia/Iberhandling and Iberia.
- Tenerife South: Iberia and Aviapartner.
- Valencia: Globalia/Iberhandling and Swissport.
- La Gomera and El Hierro: Atlántica de Handling.
On the other hand, the airports which serve less than a million passengers per year and a cargo handling license for Vitoria and Zaragoza made up the second phase of the handling tender. The licenses in this phase have been distributed as follows:
- Lot 1 is made up of the airports of A Coruña, León, Pamplona, San Sebastián, Santander, Vigo and Vitoria. The license for these airports has been granted to Iberia.
- Lot 2 is formed by Almería, Burgos, Huesca, Logroño, Murcia, Salamanca, Valladolid, and Zaragoza. The license has been awarded to Swissport.
- Lot 3 is composed of the airports of Albacete, Badajoz, Córdoba, Granada-Jaén, Jerez, La Palma and Melilla. The license will be given to Iberia.
- Second cargo license for Vitoria: WFS Servicios aeroportuarios.
- Second cargo license for Zaragoza: Globalia/Iberhandling.
Photo: A view from door 2L of the left wing of Iberia Airbus A340-600 EC-JOH upon arrival at Madrid Barajas Airport by Matt Hintsa – Flickr