Ciudad Real Central Airport, a barely used airport in Spain which was established with an investment of €1bn, has been put up for auction for a price of €100m.
The airport in Ciudad Real, about 200km south of Madrid, was opened in 2008 with a capacity to handle ten million passengers per year.
The construction of the airport was primarily funded by the troubled Caja Castilla La Mancha savings bank, which was bailed out in 2010.
The airport has the longest runway in Europe, measuring 4,200m, meaning it can land the world’s largest airliner, Airbus 380.
It was expected to serve the Spanish capital and the Andalucian coast, but the airport failed to draw enough passenger traffic and became a ‘ghost airport’.
As a result the operator CR Aeropuertos went bankrupt in June 2012 with debts of around €300m.
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The airport received its last commercial flight from low-cost airline Vueling at the end of 2012, and was open for private arrivals for another six months.
A spokesman for a commercial court in Ciudad Real, which is overseeing the sale, said that in order to meet creditors demands, the airport went up for auction on 9 December for a starting price of €100m and the bidding will close on 27 December.
Spain is gradually emerging from the recession that was triggered by the property boom, which saw a significant investment in infrastructure projects.
Currently, many of the country’s 47 airports do not receive regular commercial flights, and 15 of them have traffic of less than 100,000 passengers per year.
Image: Ciudad Real Central Airport has the longest runway in Europe, measuring 4,200m. Photo: courtesy of Arthena.