'Ghost plane' left at Madrid airport for nearly 10 years

A shot of an airport, with planes including a Qatar Airlines jet in focus.
Adolfo Suárez Barajas Airport. Photo credit: Wikimedia

Madrid airport has finally asked who owns a NZ$1.9 million plane that has been sitting there unused for nearly 10 years.

Airport director Elena Mayoral submitted a public notice to the official state gazette of Spain, the Boletín Oficial del Estado, on Friday (local time) asking for anyone with information to come forward.

The notice will run for three months. After that, if the owner is not found the plane will be sold at auction and the proceeds will be put into Spain's treasury.

The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD87 medium-range commercial jet, arrived at Adolfo Suárez Barajas Airport in 2010. Since then somebody has taped off the motors and pilot static system.

But aside from that it has sat unused, earning the nickname "ghost plane" from airport staff.

There's every chance its circumstances will remain a mystery as anyone who comes forward to claim the plane could face a hefty tax bill.

But there are some clues about where it came from.

Spanish newspaper El Pais found it was bought by a Canary Islands-based company called Saicus Air in July 2010.

The company went out of business in December of that year.