Reply To: Luton (or other airport) takeovers -right or wrong?Back to Forum
I do not dispute the the ownership of an airport being in foreign hands. What I do object to is that the government turns a blind eye to “companies unfit to run an airport”(or any other major infrastructure) being allowed to do this.
What do I mean by “.. unfit to run..”? Well as I stated before if it means that the company taking over the infrastructure has other priorities, then they should not be allowed to do so. This can mean creaming off profits away from the airport to shore up the conglomerate company, as was the case with FERROVIAL and would be with AENA.
However, one should not forget conflicts of interest. Here I would object to “Airports of Paris” or Frankfurt Airport taking over ANY London airport.Any potential competitor would fall into that category.
Reciprocity is another important factor. How is it DELTA was permitted to purchase 49% of Virgin Atlantic when the reciprocal condition in the USA is only 25% maximum of any airline. Like for like is my view.
Thus I think the UK government should stand up more vigorously to protect the interests of the country. It can be done more openly or more subtley – just as our competitors do.