Cartoons

Project runway

donquixote w

Built for over €1 billion but abandoned three years after opening, Spain’s Ciudad Real airport now looks likely to become the property of a little-known consortium of Chinese investors.

Earlier this month Tzaneen International was the only bidder in an auction for the airport, which has been gathering dust near Ciudad Real, a city of 75,000 people about 200km south of Madrid.

Tzaneen bid just €10,000 ($10,989), but it says it has plans to invest €100 million more, reviving the white elephant as a shipment point for Chinese goods.

“The purchase of the airport is the first step towards creating a hub in the Ciudad Real area specialising in the transport, storage and distribution of cargo from various geographical zones, with special attention to the Chinese market, as a bridgehead for manufactured products as well as semi-manufactured goods which could be finished in Castilla La-Mancha,” it said in a statement.

Critics of the airport have scoffed that its original backers were as delusional as Don Quixote, the donkey-riding antihero of Miguel de Cervantes’s famous novel, after whom it was initially named.

But the Financial Times says it is not quite a done deal. The court that arranged the auction said the bid was significantly below the €40 million minimum and that it had extended the deadline to mid-September in the hope of getting better offers.


© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Exclusively sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.