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BAA to sell Scottish airport before Stansted; BAA nears decision on Scottish airport sale

10-Oct-2011 9:26 AM

UK Competition Commission (CC) has decided (07-Oct-2011) to bring forward the requirement for BAA to sell either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport, accepting a proposal by BAA to reverse the order of sales in its decision requiring BAA to sell Stansted followed by either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport. "In view of the real risk of delay arising as a result of this second appeal and also given the fact that BAA is not challenging the Scottish airport sale, the CC has now decided that it would be in the interests of affected passengers and airlines to proceed with the sale of either Glasgow or Edinburgh airport first," the Competition Commission said. BAA will shortly say which of the airports it will sell and then commence preparation for sale of that airport. The sale of Edinburgh or Glasgow would leave BAA with five airports: Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Aberdeen, and one of either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

The CC confirmed in Jul-2011 its original decision of Mar-2009 that Stansted Airport and one of either Glasgow and Edinburgh airports should be sold, rejecting BAA’s contention that there had been a material change of circumstance since that time, the delay having been caused by BAA’s subsequent appeals. The CC had also confirmed in Jul-2011 that Stansted should be sold first. Subsequently, however, BAA has appealed that decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT). The CC said preparations for the sale of Stansted will be dealt with before the sale of Glasgow or Edinburgh is completed. Ryanair condemned (07-Oct-2011) the ruling which will result in the further delay of the sale of London Stansted. [more - original PR - UK Competition Commission] [more - original PR - BAA] [more - original PR - Ryanair]

BAA: “We are pleased that the Competition Commission has accepted BAA’s proposal to reverse the order of airport sales in its 2009 decision and 2011 decision. BAA has already sold Gatwick and will now sell either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are great airports with great futures and we will be sorry to see one of them leave BAA. We will continue with our judicial review proceedings against the Competition Commission’s decision requiring BAA to sell Stansted. We believe the South East airports market has changed and BAA has changed since the Competition Commission’s 2009 decision. It is also clearer now than it has ever been that Heathrow and Stansted serve different markets,” Colin Matthews, CEO. Source: Company statement, 07-Oct-2011.