Gatwick Airport’s May-2010 shows lingering ash effects, GIP sells stake

Gatwick Airport Ltd reported a 4.1% year-on-year decline in passenger traffic in May-2010, citing further volcanic ash cloud disruptions on its operations.

Gatwick also stated volumes were affected by the timing of school half terms (falling predominantly in June this year compared to May in 2009). Air transport movements declined 4.2% this month, driven by a combination of the above factors and the capacity rationalisation by airlines, while air cargo tonnage continued to out-perform the prior year both on a monthly and 12 month basis.

Gatwick Airport traffic highlights: May-2010

Gatwick’s former owner, BAA, reported similar effects in its traffic report for May-2010. See related report: BAA's May passenger traffic affected by volcanic ash, BA industrial action

GIP sells Gatwick stake

Meanwhile Gatwick's owner, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), announced on 18-Jun-2010 that it has reached agreement with the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) for CalPERS to take a 12.7% shareholding in the airport, as part of GIP’s previously announced sell down of its Gatwick equity holding. The stake is worth up to GBP106 million. GIP will continue to retain a controlling shareholding in Gatwick.

See the related CAPA Hot Issues page on Airport Privatisation.

Airport stocks mixed on Friday

In share trading on Friday, airport stocks globally were mixed, with Abertis gaining 1.1%, Hochtief and Fraport closing virtually flat and TAV Airports falling 0.9%.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 18-Jun-2010