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Prestwick Airport set to be sold for £1

Prestwick Airport has been sold to the Scottish Government. Picture: Robert Perry

Prestwick Airport has been sold to the Scottish Government. Picture: Robert Perry

  • by ALASTAIR DALTON
 

PRESTWICK Airport is expected to be sold to the Scottish Government for £1, owner Infratil said today.

The sale of the loss-making Ayrshire airport is due to be completed by Wednesday, 20 November.

Infratil said the airport’s value had been “fully impaired” - effectively written off - after Prestwick and sister airport Manston in Kent were collectively valued at £11 million in March.

The firm bought Prestwick from Stagecoach in 2001 for £33m.

Ministers are taking over the airport, which is losing £7m a year, to avert its closure and safeguard 1,400 jobs, including 300 at the airport.

In a statement, the New Zealand firm said: “The Scottish Government notified Infratil of its intention to pursue an acquisition of Prestwick Airport by 20 November. It is expected that the sale price will be £1.”

Manston is being sold to Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag for an expected £400,000.

Infratil described its investment in the airports to have been “unsuccessful for Infratil”, which showed the potential for “game changing” events.

The firm said: “Five years ago, such airports were much sought after by investors, but the global financial crisis and onerous green taxes on airlines materially changed the prospects of ‘edge of city’ airports, which were reliant on robust air traffic growth driving demand.

“While the financial outcomes were very poor, Infratil has shown it is a responsible owner, even during very lean times.

“The airports were kept operational and will be sold in better condition than they were purchased.

“Best wishes are extended to the new owners and the management and staff who have done a great job through a trying period.”

SEE ALSO:

Dani Garavelli: Wing and a prayer for Prestwick to soar again

 

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