Ciudad Real Airport, Spain: 'Ghost airport' sells for bargain price at auction

Ciudad Real Airport, a symbol of Spain's economic boom and bust that folded three years ago after luring few users, is to be purchased by Chinese investment company Tzaneen International for just €10,000 ($A14,699).

Tzaneen was awarded the asset at an auction held by a court in central Spain and plans to turn the so-called ghost airport into a European hub for Chinese companies, it said in an e-mail sent by local public relations firm Estudio de Comunicacion.

Spain granted approval in 2006 for the privately-owned airport with a 4000-metre runway originally named after the famously deluded literary figure Don Quixote. Ciudad Real sought creditor protection in 2009 following the global slump and closed in 2012 after just four years of operation.

Tzaneen said Friday it also aims to buy additional land and invest in buildings and equipment as part of its cargo plan, taking total outlay to between €60 million and €100 million.

The airport was originally conceived as a freight base to help move perishable Spanish produce around Europe, as well as an overflow terminal for Madrid, and briefly hosted Ryanair flights in 2010.

Other bidders can still try to buy the facility, located in a sparsely populated area 125 miles (201 kilometres) south of the Spanish capital, if they make an offer of at least €28 million, or 70 per cent of the airport's estimated value, within 20 working days, Efe newswire reported.


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