Aena, the manager of Spanish airports, will soon incorporate two new premium lounges in Terminal 1 of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. To date there was only one T4 in Madrid. The semi-public company will reinforce this exclusive service, after the surge in income from its VIP lounges, which in the year before the pandemic was close to 80 million euros and were the ones that grew the most.
Likewise, the company chaired by Maurici Lucena has just announced that Gestió i Serveis (GIS) will be in charge of the comprehensive management of all its rooms in El Prat – the four already existing VIPs and the two new premium ones – for a period of two years, extendable for another two years. The award of the contract has been closed at 23.9 million with taxes included.
GIS changed hands three years ago. The company, which managed the World Trade Center business center in Barcelona, sold 70% of its shares to Aéroports de Paris (the equivalent of the French Aena) for four million euros in 2019 and became its new owner.
The Barcelona World Trade Center was the first successful bidder to manage the Barcelona Airport VIP lounges when they were created in 2008, so they have been in charge of this service for almost 14 years. Currently, El Prat has three lounges in Terminal 1 (Colomer, Pau Casals and Joan Miró) and one in Terminal 2 (Canudas).
These lounges can only be accessed by passengers who have purchased a First Class, Business Class or Business Class airline ticket. Or those who have a credit card that grants privileges such as a frequent flyer card from a bank, or a Priority Pass membership.
In parallel, Aena offers a premium service at Barcelona Airport that includes accompanying users at the security control, in the lounges or baggage claim, in addition to baggage check-in or transfer services to the hotel or destination. But now, will be reinforced with two physical rooms The estimated area is 200 m², so the VIP lounges will continue to be larger.
The budget will therefore be 10.33 million for the management of the current Canudas, Colomer, Pau Casals and Joan Miró VIP Lounges and the future Premium Lounge during the first year; and another 11.85 million during the second year.
Barcelona will have a premium room for the first time, which, to date, were only available at the Madrid Airport and, furthermore, for a long time was also managed by GIS. Currently, the successful bidder is Sky Management.
The company, which is 50% owned by the State, thus intends to reinforce a service that has been on the rise for years, while the Generalitat has vetoed the million-dollar expansion project for the Barcelona-El Prat Airport, which was precisely pursued by Aena, continue raising the number of passengers and income.
Aena’s objective: exceed 80 million VIP income in 2019
In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, VIP lounges and premium service at airports became the income that grew the most. Even above leases, restaurants or car parks. Specific, that exercise Aena entered 78.8 millionwhich was almost 23% more than a year earlier.
This increase was justified by a growth in the number of users who used this service, which rose by 16%, as explained by the company in its accounts. The airport manager began the rise in income in 2016 when the facilities were improved and the number of rooms to be operated increased.
Revenues fell to 20.5 million in 2020, the first year of Covid, because the restrictions derived from the first state of alarm led to the closure of the theaters from March 15. As of June 22, the gradual opening of the halls began, adjusting it to the evolution of passenger traffic. And as of December 31, a total of 10 lounges were open out of the 28 that the airport network in Spain has.
In 2021, revenue improved to 29.7 million and that year ended with 26 operating lounges. So far in 2022, signs of recovery are already showing because the company has entered more than 13 million from January to March alone.