The business fabric has felt the snowstorm and the start of the immediate cold wave as a punch in the middle of the health crisis, with special damage to transport, commerce and hospitality in Madrid.
The real economic impact will take days to calculate, but sources in the infrastructure sector point to some 60 million in lost income , as of noon on Friday, only between the different modes of transport.
“The weekend after Reyes closed the return operation from a vacation already restricted by the coronavirus. If it weren’t for the pandemic, losses would have skyrocketed ”, they argue. The collapse has dragged down the rest of the sectors, with the slowdown in construction or in industries such as automobiles .
In the PSA factory in Vigo, for example, it was decided to close the night shift due to the difficulty in the arrival of workers. The Madrid-Barajas airport has suffered 700 cancellations since Friday afternoon
As Cinco Días has learned , 700 flights have been canceled at the Madrid-Barajas airport alone between the middle of Friday and the days of Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Aside from the paralysis in the interior of many different cities, the large bus lines with departure or destination in the capital were held up and the train stopped for the weekend.
In hotels and restaurants, the Hostelería Madrid collective quantifies the red numbers at 70 million. And in the middle of the sales campaign, the slowdown in commercial income only supports the blow that the storm has caused in the economy, to which was added the shortage in supermarkets.
It has been this, and not the quantification of physical damage, which prompted the request for the declaration of a catastrophic zone for Madrid from the City Council or the CEIM business confederation.
An extreme that, for the moment, has been ruled out by the Government as there has been no significant damage “neither to public property nor to private property,” explained Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska .
The economic vice president Nadia Calviño pointed out that it is “premature” to raise a fund of aid for the areas affected by the snowstorm and stressed, in an interview with the SER, that the first line of support corresponds to private insurance. Government representatives do recognize the emergency.
The storm Filomena put the transport infrastructures in check and made insufficient the means to restore normalcy in the downtown area. The largest airport in the country, Madrid-Barajas, continued to idle yesterday, affected by the Rate Zero regulation, according to information from Eurocontrol.
The latter reflects that the infrastructure is out of operation except for exceptions, such as flights that come loaded with vaccines or those that connect with long-distance destinations, which are excluded from the restriction. Terminals T4 and T4S were open, as well as two of the four runways, late yesterday the T1 was trying to join with few services.
The Minister of Transport, José Luis Ábalos , declared that the return to operations would be “gradual.”
The airline with the highest traffic in Madrid, Iberia, aspired to offer 30% of the short and medium-haul flights that it had planned yesterday. In the long distance, the company was going to save 11 of the 15 scheduled operations.
The limitations to fly were found both on the runways and in the aircraft parking areas. For this reason, Iberia gave priority to long-haul flights and their connections. And it offered maximum protection to the plane from Brussels loaded with two shipments of vaccines.
Iberia has had to accommodate 600 clients in different hotels in Madrid, while managing the incidents of another 2,900 who were diverted to the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Malaga and Valencia.
During the weekend, one of the objectives of Transportes was the resuscitation of rail services, while problems continued on hundreds of kilometers of roads.
The Cercanías network was reactivated in Madrid throughout the day, and Renfe put 72% of medium and long-distance services into circulation yesterday, which meant having 133 trains on the tracks.
The star high-speed line, Madrid-Barcelona, did not operate until 2:00 p.m., while the trains to Levante and Andalusia leave more than an hour late.
The ice made difficult the service from Barcelona to the Cantabrian Coast, and to the lines that connect Madrid with Zaragoza, Huesca, Pamplona and Logroño. Between Pamplona and the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, circulation was not scheduled until Tuesday.
Renfe had 2,000 people working over the weekend to try to guarantee mobility at the start of the week.
The Metro became the most reliable mode in Madrid in the face of the bus collapse. The closure of the Plaza de Castilla and Avenida de América interchanges, both in the capital, played against the network of large bus lines, while the South Station had affected its connection with the M-30 ring road.
The DGT advised that, as far as possible, the displacements of individuals be avoided so as not to block the passage of essential goods and services. A total of 628 roads were affected by the cold wave, most of them on the secondary network.