Spain’s €1bn airport sells for bargain €10,000

A Chinese company has bought Spain’s infamous "ghost airport" of Ciudad Real for a bargain price of €10,000 ($10,900).

Spain's €1bn airport sells for bargain €10,000
The airport in Castile-La Mancha went under the hammer. Photo: Africa Twin via Wikimedia Commons

The aptly named Don Quixote airport cost an estimated €1,000 million when it opened in late 2008 but was closed three years later when its parent company fell into financial difficulties.

It was designed to receive 2.5million passengers a year but only managed a measly 31,000 at its peak in 2010.

Now Chinese consortium Tzaneen Internancional has just got the bargain of the century after snapping up the white elephant some 200km south of Madrid for just €10,000.

The deal includes the runways, air traffic control tower and hangars, but does not include the terminal building or car parking facilities, reported Spanish daily El País. 

The sale took place at a public auction, which took place in the Provisional Court of Ciudad Real, where Tzaneen International was the only company to put in a bid for the airport. 

The company will now play a waiting game, as during th next 20 days other companies may put in a bid for the airport. 

An enduring symbol of Spain's economic crisis and the many “white elephant” building projects that ensued, the airport shut up shop in September 2012 after just three years in operation and now the courts have ordered its sale to help balance the books.

Spain's top ten building fails

The airport, which has been in bankruptcy proceedings since mid-2010, officially cost €450m ($620m), but the bill reaches about €1bn when publicly funded infrastructure and running costs so far are included, according to a report in the Financial Times.

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