Tenants in the commercial areas of Spanish airports have begun to receive an invoice rectifying the collection of 2020 rents by Aena. The first settlements, as you may have learned Five days, were issued yesterday in compliance with the provisions of the seventh final provision of the amended Law for the Management of Land Transport. With it, the guaranteed annual minimum rents (RMAG) that Aena receives from stores, restaurants and other establishments are reduced by the same percentage that traffic falls at the airport where they operate, until the recovery of activity levels in 2019.
The company chaired by Maurici Lucena thus fulfills the legal mandate, but does so while preserving its line of defense. And it is only going to regularize the income situation of tenants who agreed to rebates with Aena itself before Congress fully entered into this matter. That reaches 90 companies, most of them SMEs, with a weight of 13% in the RMAG. For the moment, the large chains that, like Areas, Dufry and SSP (75% of the total RMAG), took the public operator to court demanding greater reductions in their rents.
Aena reserves the reformulation of invoices if the reduction ordered by Congress is unconstitutional
Aena has claimed to the judges, at the moment in a dozen of the 104 open proceedings, the question of unconstitutionality against the aforementioned amendment that affects its commercial policy. While waiting for the courts to decide whether to raise this matter to the Constitutional Court, Aena suspends the reformulation of the large bills. A setback for firms like Dufry, which has already registered a millionaire regularization by Aena in their accounts.
In fact, the new invoices sent to SMEs contemplate a safeguard in favor of the landlord, which reserves the right to re-rectify the income, claiming the difference if necessary, in case the issue of unconstitutionality against the rule prevails. This is to maintain the line of argument that Aena is using in court.
In this new situation, governed by the Law of Ordinance of Land Transport, the circumstance arises that some merchants get the settlement to pay. Aena had agreed with them the exemption of the rental income during the first state of alarm (from March 15 to June 20, 2020) and while the terminal in which they provide service was kept closed by decision of the lessor, as happened in the Madrid, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca airports, among others. The text that came out of Congress also provides for free during confinement and, later, the reduction related to activity throughout the airport. No matter how little Barajas T4 operated, for example, its traffic during 2020 goes out to pay merchants who had terminals 1,2 and 3 closed.
Some settlements now go out to pay by the tenants who had agreed to the reduction with Aena
Aena quantifies in 1,350 million euros until 2025 the blow to their income provided by the Law that lowers their rents.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.