UK's BAA stated (20-Aug-2012) having "carefully considered" the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling, BAA has decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court and is now proceeding with the sale of London Stansted Airport. BAA said, "We still believe that the Competition Commission ruling fails to recognise that Stansted and Heathrow serve different markets." The decision marks the end to a three-year long dispute on the matter. Stansted Airport is London’s third busiest airport and the UK’s fourth busiest airport. Approximately 17.5 million passengers and 133,500 flights pass through Stansted p/a. 16 airlines operate from Stansted, serving more than 150 destinations in 32 countries. The sale of Stansted will leave BAA with four airports: London Heathrow, Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow. Ryanair welcomed the move, stating, "The sale of Stansted into separate ownership will lead to more competition, lower passenger charges, improved passenger services and the roll out of additional and much needed traffic growth at competitive prices in Stansted”. UK Competition Commission similarly welcomed (20-Aug-2012) the development and stated it would be closely involved with the sales process "to ensure the suitability of the new owner". London Gatwick also welcomed (20-Aug-2012) the decision, which it believes "will increase competition in the airport market and improve customer service". Ryanair, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and Incheon Airport Authority are among the parties reportedly interested in the airport. As previously reported, Ryanair deputy CEO Howard Millar last month said the airline has been approached by potential buyers with the view to joining a consortium bid. He said: "We have met these consortia and they want us to be an anchor tenant." [more - original PR - BAA] [more - original PR - UK Competition Commission] [more - original PR - Ryanair] [more - original PR - London Gatwick]
BAA to sell Stansted Airport
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Chinese long haul secondary city air routes: BA's Chengdu exit does not reflect the broader market
The fastest long haul airline growth is not occurring with Gulf airlines but rather, with services to and from secondary Chinese cities. It is not a secret that local incentives and subsidies, generally common in any market, are especially large in price and duration for secondary Chinese cities. An airline might expect over a third of revenues to be subsidised. This drastically alters the business case in a low-margin industry, hence the proliferation of secondary city services. This extreme dependence on subsidies raises the question of how long governments are willing to issue generous subsidies, and how many routes can be sustainable without them.
British Airways' decision to exit its only secondary Chinese route to Chengdu, in Jan-2017, might suggest the music is ending and the secondary long haul bubble is popping. There is added colour given the recent UK-China air service agreement expansion, and Brexit/British pound depreciation overhangs.
BA's exit does confirm market fundamentals: secondary city yields are low, and some routes are ahead of their time. Yet a number of factors unique to British Airways suggest caution in concluding that BA's Chengdu exit could foreshadow other withdrawals.
Iran CAPA Aviation Summit – hope turns to frustration, but optimism remains as growth abounds
When CAPA – Centre for Aviation held its first conference in Iran at the end of Jan-2016 the atmosphere was primarily one of optimism. Immediately preceding the conference the expectation was that Iran and the West would move to rapidly reverse decades of estrangement. The first round of sanctions against Iran had come down – in line with the historic 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the ‘5+1’ powers – and major airlines and aircraft manufacturers were coming to the table.
While it was acknowledged that progress on major deals was not going to happen overnight, the hope was that as layers of sanctions came down, Iran would be embraced by the rest of the world. In return, Iran was expected to open itself up progressively to foreign trade and investment, and to travel.
The road ahead was perceived to be one that was both a very different, and far easier, one than the one Iran had already travelled. Aviation in particular was a sector that was expected to shine and lead the way for a new era for the country.