“The worry and uncertainty is killing us” according to the spokesman of the Platform Pro San Javier Airport, Santiago Pina.
Following the almost certain closure of San Javier, on the appointment of Aena to manage Corvera this coming Friday, Pina said that he will convene a meeting that will make a decision on any future action, industrial or otherwise, to be carried out by the 450 employees of the auxiliary companies, subcontracted by Aena in San Javier.
“Some of them,” he said, “like Swissport, which deals with the ‘handling’ or ground handling service, have contracts still in force for the next 7 years.”
“If Corvera’s management company is confirmed to be Aena, it will take its employees to the new airport, but for the rest the situation is not clear, like the businesses who have shops at the airport, and all of the taxi drivers, who will no longer be able to find work at the airport.
Pina said that he and the Platform are extremely surprised at the decision as “until now all the indications demonstrated support for the continued operation of San Javier, where there are still works and upgrades being carried out.”
The Platform questions the advantages of moving to Corvera, since “it is not yet clear that any airlines want to operate from the new airport, where they will have to make more manoeuvres with the aircraft, which means more fuel costs and less profitability”.
Remember, also, that “Corvera does not yet have the permits from either the Civil Aviation nor security nor does it have any air traffic control slots.” With the allocation already made to the companies requesting them for San Javier for the 2018 year, the Platform considers that “next year San Javier will have to continue to operate because the airlines are already committed and selling tickets”.
The members of the Platform also question that the profitability of Corvera will exceed that of San Javier airport, since “they will have to contract services that in San Javier are already provided by Defence, such as air traffic control, which is a major cost, as well as the perimeter security. Before landing in Corvera, the aircraft will first need to obtain clearance from the San Javier tower and then air traffic control at Corvera, since they will be operating in military airspace,” recalls Pina.
The Platform also says that “the airlines prefer San Javier because it offers the lowest rates in the Mediterranean, there are no time restrictions and the whole process for passengers is quick and efficient. They are off the aircraft in just a few minutes and are able to pick up luggage and get on with their holiday or their journey much quicker than any likely scenario could possibly be at Corvera.
Pina added. “The visibility around San Javier is excellent and we regularly take in aircraft that have been diverted from Alicante due to the fog. In Corvera there are likely to be even bigger problems because of the mountains and the regularity of the mist and fog.” He predicts that “many tourists and several companies will instead take their business to Alicante.”