Aena records its first loss since 2012 after 2,262.9 million euro revenue drop due to COVID-19


24 February 2021

Gross operating profit (EBITDA1) is down by 74.2%.

Passenger traffic in the Spanish airport network falls by 72.4% in 2020 to 76.1 million.

Aeronautical activity revenue drops by 67.1%.

Commercial revenue shows a decrease of 16.4%, although it includes uncollected booked Minimum Annual Rent coming to 635.5 million euros.

The company has set out a general framework of agreements with commercial operators for even-handed adjustment of contracts, resulting in a discount of almost 60% in 2020.

The overall commercial discount proposal offered by Aena amounts to some 800 million euros in 2020 and 2021.

The Board of Directors has signed off a new extraordinary incentive package for airlines to drive recovery of operations during the summer season.

In 2020, Aena recorded a fall in revenue coming to 2,262.9 million euros due to the travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This represents a decrease of 50.2% compared to 2019. Likewise, gross operating profit (EBITDA1) fell 74.2% to 714.6 million euros, including 22.7 million euros from the consolidation of Luton and a negative impact of 66.8 million euros from Aena Brazil. Losses for the year, the first since 2012, amounted to 126.8 million euros.

The 72.4% decline in passenger traffic during the year in Spain down to 76.1 million passengers (-70.9% if London Luton Airport and the six Aena Brazil airports are included) has resulted in a fall in aeronautical activity accompanied by a 67.1% drop in its revenue. Commercial revenue shows a decrease of 16.4%, although it includes uncollected booked Minimum Annual Rents coming to 635.5 million euros, inclusive of the ones for the state of emergency period (198.6 million euros), in application of accounting standards (IFRS 16 - Leases).

Commercial discounts at around 800 million euros

The discounts offered by Aena’s commercial area to all its customers amount to around 800 million euros in 2020 and 2021. The aim is to adjust contracts in an even-handed way to cater for the situation of the two sides, both of which have been hard hit by the pandemic.

With its travel retail and food service operators, Aena has put in place a general framework of agreements anchored in the Royal Decree Act on support for the tourism, hospitality and retail industries as a criterion (RDA 35/2020). However, the company has also gone further by including discounts of 100% of the MAG during the first state of emergency and 50% between the two states of emergency.

The proposal is on a period-by-period basis and envisages a 100% reduction in the MAG for the period from 15 March to 20 June 2020 and a 50% discount from 21 June 2020 to 8 September 2021. This means that in 2020, the discount comes to around 60%. In addition, if facilities are closed due to an operational decision by Aena, the discount is up to 100%. To date, this proposal has been accepted by 56.2% of all customers.

Incentives for airlines for the summer season

Aena is also continuing with its policy of commercial incentives designed to foster the scheduling of operations by airlines. Thus on 23 February 2021, the Board of Directors signed off a new extraordinary incentive package to recover operations for the 2021 summer season.

This measure, which will apply between 1 April and 31 October, incentivises recovery rates above specified thresholds. For the first three months the recovery threshold is 30% while for the last four months it is 45%. All operations above these percentages will be incentivised in their landing charge by the same percentage as their recovery. The incentive means that airlines will receive a discount on their average monthly landing charge for all operations above the set levels, irrespective of the number of passengers carried.

Likewise, in March the charges for 2021 will come into force which the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has agreed to freeze after recovering deficits from previous years.

Cost savings

The company is maintaining the strict cost savings policy which it kicked off in March 2020. Adjustment of capacity, cost cutting and reduction of cash outflows have been tailored to the evolution of traffic, bringing the capacity of its facilities into line with operational needs.

Under this plan, the cumulative savings made between April and December 2020 amount to 404.7 million euros.

Retaining jobs and passenger safety

In spite of the reduction in its business, Aena has prioritised job retention and managing the operational recovery of its airports to protect and safeguard the health and safety of passengers and staff alike. This approach is being coordinated with the health and transport authorities as well as with EU member states.

In this respect, since April the company has put in place its Operational Recovery Plan, a series of measures based on the guidelines of the European Commission and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which have been drawn up in conjunction with the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) and coordinated with the member states and the international airport (ACI) and airline (IATA) associations.

“Safe” airports adapted to health measures

Recently, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat and Palma de Mallorca airports have earned Airport Health Accreditation (AHA). This is a programme which assesses compliance with the health measures recommended by the ACI, EASA, ECDC, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, and is already being rolled out at all the airports in Aena’s network. The accreditation, awarded after careful assessment of the health measures and procedures that Aena and the Spanish authorities have introduced in all passenger areas and processes, attests to Aena's ongoing commitment to safety. Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) is the first global programme specifically designed for the airport industry as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Aena is also working with the health authorities by providing them with the resources needed to carry out the health screening procedures required for all international passengers These protocols begin with a primary check using barely noticeable thermal imaging cameras to take temperatures and a documentary check which includes the PCR requirement for passengers from countries deemed at risk. This is followed by a secondary check in which the suspected cases identified are evaluated clinically and epidemiologically, antigen tests are performed and they are referred to Border Health and Spain’s regional authorities.

To support these Ministry of Health operations, Aena has around 220 thermal imaging cameras in place throughout its network which have entailed an investment coming to about 650,000 euros. In terms of human resources, in 2020 a number of tenders were run to staff these Border Health checks. Support staff were stepped up in July as borders were reopened with two staff contracts for a total amount of around 20 million euros. Furthermore, to ensure these measures remain in place in 2021 and to meet the need for staff to carry out tests in the cases stipulated by the new health regulations, two fresh tenders were opened with an estimated value over two years of around 155 million euros. These amounts come in addition to the costs of implementing other COVID-19 security measures forming part of Aena’s Operational Recovery Plan such as signage, protection, separation, contactless devices, etc.






  1. Calculated as Total income minus Total expenses plus Depreciation and amortisation
  2. Cash flow calculated as adjusted EBITDA – CAPEX – Interest paid – Tax paid.

Calculated as Current Financial Debt plus Non-current Financial Debt minus Cash and Cash Equivalents