Spain's government on Friday approved the partial privatization of state-owned airport manager Aena Aeropuertos and the entry of a private operator in the passenger-rail sector.

Development Minister Ana Pastor made the announcements after the weekly Cabinet meeting.

The government plans to sell a 49 percent stake in Aena, with 28 percent to be floated in a public offering on the Spanish stock exchange and 21 percent to be auctioned to a core group of private investors.

The state will retain a controlling 51 percent stake in Aena, according to Pastor, who said the new regulatory framework for the airport sector will be published in July, two months prior to the planned start of the selection process for the long-term investors.

The government said it plans to file the prospectus for Aena's share sale in October and sell the 28 percent stake in the airport manager in a public offering a month later.

Aena is the world's leading airport manager, moving 187.4 million passengers in 2013.

The Cabinet also approved the opening of the passenger rail-transportation sector, allowing a private operator to provide service on routes linking Madrid with the main cities on Spain's eastern coast under an initial seven-year contract.

The new operator will compete with state-owned rail company Renfe. EFE