Iberia will appeal to the Audiencia Nacional (National Court) the result of the handling tender of the airport manager Aena, after the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources (TACRC) refused to admit the airline’s claim.
“The TACRC has not entered into an assessment of Iberia’s allegations, it has simply declared itself incompetent to rule on the matter,” the Spanish airline explained on Friday.
Iberia adds that it will appeal the decision of the Administrative Court and request “the suspension of the award of the contract (…) and the annulment of the TACRC’s decision, so that the court can rule on the merits of the case and annul the award of the handling tender”.
At the same time, the airline indicates that it will ask for the suspension of the results of the tender carried out by the airport manager as a precautionary measure.
Iberia has two months to lodge a contentious-administrative appeal against the TACRC’s decision, starting from the date of notification of the latter.
TACRC rejects Iberia’s appeal
Iberia has reacted in this way to the news that the TACRC has rejected this Friday the complaint filed by the airline industry body, in addition to lifting the suspension of the handling contracting procedure after this same body interrupted it until the appeal lodged by the airline was resolved.
The court also decided not to fine Iberia because it did not “find bad faith or recklessness in the lodging of the complaint”.
“Aena welcomes the Court’s decision and hopes, firstly, that Iberia will finally accept that it has lost numerous handling licences simply because other companies have submitted better proposals than its own and, secondly, that Iberia will contribute to the transition process being carried out in an orderly manner for the good of workers and passengers,” said sources from the airport operator.
The company belonging to the IAG Group challenged the resolution of the handling tender on 20 October after detecting “irregularities” in the award procedure, which left them out of the ground handling management of eight of the main Spanish airports, with the exception of Barajas.
41 licences for 43 airports and two heliports for seven years
The opinion of the bidding process, published on 26 September, renewed 41 licences for 43 airports and two heliports for a period of seven years, and resolved the handling management of Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Alicante, Gran Canaria, Tenerife Sur, Ibiza and Bilbao in favour of other companies, instead of Iberia, which had traditionally operated in these infrastructures.
In addition to Iberia, the result was also challenged by the trade unions UGT and CCOO, in this case because they believe that compliance with the labour obligations derived from the sector’s agreement cannot be guaranteed by the winning companies.
These labour organisations are reportedly concerned about the result of the tender, because they understand that several of the selected operators “are known for their non-compliance in the social sphere”, which is why they called a strike in the sector for the long weekend in December, which they decided not to carry out definitively.