San Javier awarded as the best small airport in Europe

Murcia-San Javier airport by Joaquin Vanschoren - Flickr

The Airports Council International awarded San Javier airport a prize as the best European airport with fewer than 2 million passengers per year. The information was published in LaVerdad, where they interviewed the Murcia-San Javier airport director, Mr. Pedro Vicente Gallut. This distinction has been received just as Aena, the Government of Spain and the local Government are in talks for the closure of San Javier to open Corvera.

It is surprising that San Javier continues to lose passengers and airlines despite the excellence of their services. Also, it is difficult to understand why Alicante keeps gaining travelers in the same area in spite of the fact that the prices in San Javier are cheaper. Mr. Gallut stuck to his capacities and referred back to Aena’s version: “the airlines decide where they want to fly to, despite the marketing team“. Apart from the financial crisis, there isn’t any other official explanation for the fact that San Javier lost nearly half of the users they used to have. However, the airport director thinks that this decrease has slowed down. <<The prize shows the good work of the people here. It is an honour for everybody here, for Aena, and for the Autonomous Community of Murcia. This will boost tourism in Murcia>> said Mr. Gallut, who has been in charge of the airport since May 2013.

The transfer to Corvera

It is taboo to talk about the San Javier closure or about Corvera. The works council is mobilised to impede the closure and they refuse moving into Corvera. In the meantime, another piece in LaVerdad informs that Murcia’s Government and Aena expect to sign an agreement within a month. This agreement would mean the end of commercial flights in San Javier to give way to Corvera. Aena is determined to go ahead and are even interested in bidding for Corvera.

The plan is that the employees who are willing to move into the new airport keep the same working conditions. They will give them the possibility of working in Corvera and want this clause to be included in the tender. However, a date has not been fixed for this tender yet. According to this article, the president of Murcia, Alberto Garre said that Aeromur – the company owned by Sacyr which had the license to manage Corvera – is causing problems regarding providing Corvera’s inventory in order to define the terms and conditions of the tender. Two requirements have been sent for this purpose, but nothing has been received so far. In the opinion of Murcia’s Government, it will not be possible to open Corvera this year because of these problems and they are considering going to courts.

Six companies are interested in the management of Corvera

Despite the difficulties Sacyr is causing, sources of the local Government say that there are six companies interested in the contract for the management. LaOpinionDeMurcia informs that there are six companies which have shown interest for the airport. Among them are Aena, Ferrovial and Lavalin. The autonomous community and the Ministry of Development are considering a period of between two and six months for the closure of San Javier. This period of time will start counting when Corvera is operational, but the problem is that there is no date for such purpose so far.


Photo: Murcia-San Javier airport by Joaquin Vanschoren – Flickr