20-Aug-2012 6:23 PM

BAA to sell Stansted Airport

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]

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