BAA to sell Edinburgh airport

19 Oct 2011 by BusinessTraveller

Airport operator BAA has opted to keep Glasgow airport over Edinburgh, following the Competition Commission’s ruling that it must sell one of the two key Scottish airports.

BAA says it is now “commencing preparations for a sale and expects to formally approach the market in the New Year with a view to agreeing a sale by Summer 2012”.

Explaining the decision to sell Edinburgh instead of the smaller Glasgow facility, BAA’s CEO Collin Matthews said:

“Choosing which airport to sell has been a difficult decision. Edinburgh Airport has shown itself to be a strong and resilient asset throughout the economic downturn. Passenger numbers at Edinburgh have grown by more than 6 per cent over the past year and in an uncertain market we expect it to be an attractive asset to prospective buyers.

"Glasgow Airport has great opportunities for future growth and development and we think BAA is well-placed to build on its recent success. Both airports are of national importance and have a bright future.”

Edinburgh airport attracts around nine million passengers per year, with over 100,000 flights, while Glasgow attracts just under seven million travellers and around 70,000 flights annually.

The Competition Commission recently ruled that BAA must sell either Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as Stansted airport. BAA says that it will “continue with its judicial review proceedings relating to the Competition Commission’s July 2011 decision requiring BAA to divest Stansted”, adding that it is legally entitled to challenge the decision, and “believes it has strong grounds to succeed”.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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