BAA has warned that the capacity constraints at Heathrow are tighter than ever, restricting growth in the UK economy. The warning came as BAA announced that its airports served 108.5m passengers last year, an increase of 4.4%.
Environmental concerns have seen the Labour party move a third runway “off the agenda” shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle has confirmed. In power the party had supported the expansion of the airport – which is already the busiest international hub in the world – but announced a policy u-turn earlier.
An increase in passenger numbers at UK airports has seen operator BAA cut losses over the first three quarters of financial 2011. BAA reported a pre-tax loss of £147 million for the period, compared to a loss of £193 million 2010.
Operator BAA has revealed plans to sell Edinburgh Airport after it was told by the Competition Commission (CC) to sell either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport.
BAA owner Ferrovial has reached an agreement with two investment vehicles managed by Alinda Capital Partners for the sale of a 5.88 per cent stake in the airport operator. The stake is presently controlled by Ferrovial-owned BAA parent company FGP Topco and will change hands for £280 million.
Officials at the United Kingdom Competition Commission have confirmed BAA will be forced to bring forward the sale of either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport. The CC confirmed in July its original decision of March 2009 that Stansted Airport and one of either Glasgow and Edinburgh airports should be sold, rejecting the contention there had been a material change of circumstance since that time.
BAA has begun to take preliminary soundings from potential buys for London Stansted Airport as a Competition Commission deadline for the sale of the property nears. However, the airport operator is still considering launching a bid for a judicial review of the decision, which will also see BAA forced to divest either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport in Scotland.
BAA is celebrating its latest passenger figures, with Heathrow handling a record 6.9 million passengers in July and Sunday July 31st remembered as the busiest day on record at the airport. But, with transit through the airport fraught at the best of times, spare a thought for those millions stuck in queues at departures gates.
Flights into London have been delayed this morning as monitoring systems at National Air Traffic Control failed. Systems briefly failed with flight details consequently inputted manually.
Ryanair has launched legal action against BAA in an attempt to recover up to £175 million in fees it believes it incurred at Stansted Airport due to the “monopolistic” position of the airport operator. Also in the UK today, the Competition Commission has confirmed the final ruling on the merger of Thomas Cook, Co-operative Group and Midlands Co-operative Society has been delayed.
Losses at airport operator BAA narrowed over the first six months of financial 2011 as passenger numbers increased. BAA – which owns London Heathrow Airport – lost £249 million in the six months to June 30th, some 11 per cent less than the £280 million lost during the same period of 2010.
The Competition Commission has confirmed BAA will be forced to sell Stansted Airport and either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport, with the sales process expected to start in three months.