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The president of AENA: “we're Going to bet strongly for us with the management of airports cubans”

Maurici Lucena (Barcelona, 1975) came to the presidency of Aena last June after the arrival of Pedro Sánchez Moncloa. Economist, he has developed his profession

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The president of AENA: “we're Going to bet strongly for us with the management of airports cubans”

Maurici Lucena (Barcelona, 1975) came to the presidency of Aena last June after the arrival of Pedro Sánchez Moncloa. Economist, he has developed his professional life, both in the orbit of the private and the public, first in the business field (CDTI, European Space Agency and Isdefe), and then in the political (she participated in the economic program of the PSOE in 2004 and was a member of parliament and spokesperson for the PSC in the Parliament of Catalonia). In its earlier stage was steering in Banco Sabadell. In Aena manages 46 airports (in January, it incorporates Murcia), plus two heliports in Spain, and 17 in the outside, what is supposed to be the first passengers, revenue, profits, most competitive rates and lowest operating costs. Now his most immediate challenge is to get management of four international airports in Cuba (Varadero, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguín), who will accompany the president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez to the caribbean country.

Question. In the strategic plan 2018-2021 are displayed quite pessimistic for 2019 with an increase of passengers of only 2%, half that this year, and 1.2% of the benefit. What is it?

Response. There is pessimism. The company has some very solid foundations and is very efficient and cost effective. What happens is that the next year is attended a number of factors that have made us very cautious. It has seemed to us that we had to make a case to the indicators suggest that the economy will have a moderate slowing and that, in relation to the tourism component, there is an ongoing recovery of the destinations before, we had given the tourists (Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia...). On the other hand, is the Brexit. You only need to remember that United Kingdom is the main issuer of international and is normal incidence.

Q. And the oil, and airport fees do not influence?

“There is more uncertainty, but we are optimistic about the Brexit”

A. The oil also of course, but the fees in our case play in favour because over the period 2017-2021 will fall by up to 11% (by 2.2% each year on average).

Q. How would it affect the Brexit to Aena as manager of the Luton airport?

A. The impact is not as strong because Luton is evolving in a remarkable way, and the volume of traffic will continue to increase. The effect will come from the depreciation of the pound; but we will be able to adapt this depreciation with the increase of capacity.On another front, the impact that may have with Spain, there is more uncertainty because it depends on the agreements with the EU, but we are optimistic. We do not contemplate a scenario in the negative extreme, as the cancellation of the rights of flights, that would be the most hard. It is clear that from the point of view of operational, financial, and demand management we are analyzing all the aspects and the impact is reflected in the data of the strategic plan. And, on the other hand, we are analyzing the slots intended for the winter season and it is expected an appreciable increase of 8.4% from the United Kingdom and 10% overall on last season. That reinforces the optimism.

“we Expect to have the airports of cubans in Varadero, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguín”

P. Aena remains committed to a policy of dividend is very generous, handing out 80% of your benefit, 975 million in 2018 and in 2019 1,000 million. What this is due to the need of the State?

R. it seems to Us very reasonable in our permanent objective to protect the interests of the shareholders and the financial health of the company, particularly the investment effort. The suitability of a dividend of 80% reflects that, in parallel,the net debt of the company is going to continue to decline.

Evolution of the price

Q. The Bag seems not to have met with good eyes the strategic plan and the shares fall from highs of may in 175 to 135 euros.

A. There is a trend quite general in this sector, including the airlines. It is possible to announce publicly for the first time the evolution of the traffic in the strategic plan, which is previous to my arrival, but with which I feel comfortable, has influenced.

Q. The analysts put a target price of € 160.

Maurici Lucena, in a time of the interview.

A. I am Confident that, having the conviction that the company is very solid, efficient and profitable Sultanbet and that the prospects for medium and long-term in the aviation sector are optimistic (the next two decades the air traffic is set to double) I aspire to that, then the quote pick up the long-term value of the company's intrinsic action, which is well-grounded. In addition, Aena has a good reputation as an operator, with an airport network that works very well. I think that the price will pick up this strength.

Q. During the PP Government, the managers of Aena opted for a greater privatization. They said that the funds shareholders pushed very strong for the State to lose the majority in the capital. Do you have calmed the waters, or follows that bet on the table?

A. This discussion is not on the table, or by the majority shareholder or on my part. Do not give me the impression that it is current.

Q. And what does that say of the request from the CNMC of which Enaire stop control Aena?

R. Therefore, the process of liberalization carried out up to now has worked correctly, and it has introduced competition and efficiency. Is the Ministry of the that you must define the following steps.

Internationalisation

“I dare Not say that no site for a second airport in Madrid but Decks can absorb the traffic increases until 2026, at least”

Q. With the former president spoke of bet for the internationalization. Enter in foreign airports but of the hand of local partners. What concrete plans are you looking at?

A. The Strategic Plan says that the challenge of the company is to consolidate its activity, that is to say, to enhance the capacity of the airports, with high standards of quality, safety, innovation, and growth of the business. At the same time collects two aspects that should give a boost to the company: real estate development, which will be the most important that is going to be in Spain in many years, and the international expansion, where we're going to be very careful when assessing each of the opportunities. The Plan is a statement of intent, accompanied by a few financial resources are indisputable to develop.

Q. And what are in the portfolio?

A. we are Going case-by-case basis. We are analyzing the Sofia airport and those that are going to concesionar in Colombia. But we are very interested in airports and cuban, precisely, this week joined the managerentity of the Government in his trip to Cuba, where we expect to achieve serious progress to manage the international airports of Varadero, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguin.

"The Prat is in a very good state of form"

Q. And Havana, no?

A. we Know that Havana could be advanced in another process, but we're going with open ears to discuss any opportunity in which the cuban Government considers that we can contribute.

Q. are There other projects?

A. there is no doubt that we have the capacity to address major operations, but I want to make clear is that we're going to have to be very careful. Only we will profitable operations, apart from considerations of operational, regulatory stability and policy of the countries bids.

Q. You have closed all disputes expropriation?

"For the career I am trained to run the company"

A. Our grounds are normatively defined as a of use airport. It has limitations, but also a lot of travel. We're not going to raise developments of a residential character, but all related to airport activity, which is quite a broad concept. We do, in any case, what are we to do with the maximum institutional consensus as possible and with the objective that municipalities affected have the maximum benefit.

Q. When will be a reality?

A. We are in a phase of in-depth study, which means that next spring we will have a clear business model. Our idea is that the first companies to set up in 2022, and the development is done in the next two decades.

Q. is There a site for a new airport in Madrid?

A. There are three aspects. The first is that it competes globally. Second, is that the Madrid-Barajas has a capacity for 70 million passengers and last year there were 53 million with the planned investments, can climb to 80 million. The third aspect is that the rates of Aena are the lowest among our competitors.

Q. Do Not you see the future then?

A. I would Not dare to say so much. What I am saying is that it has the capacity to absorb the traffic increases between now and 2026, at least.

Q. It seems to change the president of the public companies when you change the Government?

A. I can speak about my case. Mine is an appointment to proposal of a majority shareholder represented by a Government. By career I am trained to run the company.

Q. Should have shared management The Prat?

A. From the point of view of results, activity, satisfaction of airlines and passengers what I see in a very good state of form. El Prat has two great elements of coordination, which are the coordination committee, airport committee and the committee of routes. This works fine, its participants (Aena, city hall, Generalitat and Chamber of Commerce) I move to his satisfaction, which has translated in practice in new routes.

Q. Are you in favor of a unified management, then?

A. Yes.

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