Three rival consortia will make bids for Gatwick today, but all offers are expected to be considerably below the £2bn plus tag originally sought by BAA.Analysts predict bids will range between £1.4bn and £1.5bn, well below the level of more than £2bn plus initially sought by BAA.
Passenger numbers at the UK’s main airports have continued to spiral downwards, according to BAA. Passenger numbers at its seven airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick, fell 11.3 percent to 10.6m people in March.Gatwick was the worst hit, with passengers down by 17.7 percent, as airlines cuts service and passengers hold back on travel.
The UK’s airports are set for a radical shake-up after the Competition Commission confirmed BAA must sell Gatwick and Stansted airports, along with either Glasgow or Edinburgh.The long-anticipated decision aims to the improve the customer flying experience as well as remove BAA’s monopoly over Britain’s busiest airports.
BAA has reported a sharp drop in profits on the back of lower passenger numbers and higher running costs but has said its sale of Gatwick Airport is on schedule with initial bids having been received from potential buyers.
BAA has finally relinquished its battle to hold on to Stansted. This represents a radical about turn for the airport operator, which had earlier vowed to fight through the courts any forced sell-off by competition watchdogs.It is thought to be agreeing with the Competition Commission’s order to sell the Essex airport along with Gatwick, as it has won its quest for a third runway at Heathrow. The move also comes with Spanish-owner Ferrovial struggling with debt.
BAA has conceded that the opening of a second runway at Stansted airport will be delayed by two years due to the downturn causing a sharp drop-off in passenger volumes. The original opening date of the second runway is now being shifted from 2015 to 2017.“We will not be hitting the 35 million in 2015 that we had expected. That is due to the downturn in the economy that is affecting aviation,” said a BAA spokesman.
Four of the world’s leading airlines today called for CO2 emissions from international aviation to be included in a new global climate deal. The agreementwill be negotiated by world leaders at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in December.
The big thaw has set in as Britain recovers from the heaviest snowfalls in 18 years. But airports across the country continue to suffer disruption today.BAA has said it has now cleared most of the snow, enabling airports to resume a vastly improved service. A small number of cancellations are still expected as a knock on effect from yesterday’s disruptions.
Passengers numbers passing through Britain’s major airports fell last year, according to figures released by BAA today.The seven UK airports run by the Spanish-owned airport operator, which include Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, handled 145.8 million passengers in 2008 - a drop of 2.8% compared with 2007.
BAA looks odds on to be forced to sell two of its three London airport following a Competition Commission report released today.The CC confirmed that the Spanish-owned operator must sell Gatwick and Stansted, as well as Edinburgh Airport, although the decision is subject to a final consultation within the next few weeks, with a final report due in early March 2009.
BAA‘s seven UK airports continue to feel the economic chill, handling one million fewer passengers last month than November last year.Gatwick was among the hardest hit of BAA’s portfolio, with passengers down 13.2 per cent. Stansted also suffered, 13.2 per cent lower, with BAA putting this down to the effects of airline service cutbacks.
BAA could be forced to relinquish its hold over airports in south-east England and Scotland, following reports that the UK Competition Commission is poised to rule that the airport operator is harming passenger interests. Critics point to record delays, overcrowding and under-investment.