Some airlines have their own handling arrangements. | Pere Bota

The Aena airports authority's "maxi-tender" for seven-year contracts at its 43 airports and two heliports is valued at some 5,000 million euros. For the three Balearic airports alone, the licences are worth 300 million euros, and the main players vying for the contracts are Acciona Airport Services, Iberia LAE and Globalia Groundforce.

José Cambrón of the UGT union explains that there are around 6,000 jobs for the various handling services at the Balearic airports. These are jobs for employees of the contracted companies and airlines that have their own handling operations.

For the three airports, there are seven licences in all - three in Palma and two in both Ibiza and Mahon. Under the terms of the tender, jobs must be guaranteed, so a winning contractor is obliged to take on employees from a contractor which may lose out. Acciona, Iberia and Globalia are not the only bidders; others include Swissport, which is already present in Ibiza and Mahon. A new pay agreement, valid until 2025, will see salaries increase.

Aena has placed special emphasis on sustainability; the number of electric vehicles, for instance, must increase from 23% to a minimum 49%.

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The awards will be made, at the very latest, at the end of March 2023, which is when airline summer schedules commence.