Stansted Airport To be Sold to Manchester Airport for £1.5 Billion

By | November 1, 2013

March 2013

Stansted airport is to be sold by Heathrow Airport Holdings to the company that owns Manchester Airport for 1.5 billion pounds. Heathrow Airport Holdings will continue to own Heathrow airport, Southampton airport and Glasgow and Aberdeen airports but was ordered to sell off Stansted airport by the Competition Commission.

Heathrow Airport Holdings is actually a consortium headed by the Spanish group Ferrovial and used to be known as BAA. Back in 2009, the Competition Commission ruled that there was a lack of competition between London’s airports, which were all owned by the same company and so both Gatwick and Stansted airports had to go to new ownership. at the time BAA had already begun the process if selling off Gatwick airport but wanted to keep Stansted airport and so started a legal appeal against the decision. However, this legal battle ended in August if 2012 with the Competition Commission upholding the original decision.

Heathrow and Gatwick of the UK’s busiest airports, followed by Manchester wit close to 19 million passengers passing through its doors each year and then Stansted is the fourth busiest with around 18 million passengers.
Now Stansted airport will be sold to the Manchester Airports Group, which is the holding company owned by 10 councils of the Greater Manchester area.

It was thought that there would not be a vast amount of interest in Stansted airport as 70% of its flights are with Ryan Air, the budget airline and this is likely to bring down the airport’s value. In the end there were 3 bids submitted, one by Australia’s Macquarie group, one by Malaysia Airports Holdings and the winning bid by Manchester Airports Group. Whilst it might seem a good move for the UK that British based company have bought the airport, the Manchester Airports Group is actually part owned by an Australian conglomerate which recently acquired a 35% share. However, this has given the group the financial power to out bid the other interested parties.

The Manchester Airports Group had bid unsuccessfully for Gatwick airport when that was being sold off.

Stansted airport is seen as the only real viable alternative to expanding Heathrow airport and could see it become the most important and largest airport in the UK. There are suggestions to build 3 more runways and turn it into a superb. Alternatively a new runway could be built at Stansted and another at Gatwick, thus meaning each London airport had 2 runways, instead of Heathrow gaining a further 2 runways to take the total to 4.

Now all three of London’s main airports will be owned by different companies, where as before BAA held all three.

For help travelling to Stanstead airport by taxi, consider giving Station Cars a call on 01245 616161.

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