Fancy Buying an Airport?
That might be the patter of a market trader flogging the odd airport or two. Investment banks and consultants being called in to sell a rash of airports might use less colourful language but the principle is the same. So what can you get for your money? Newcastle airport, only about 20 minutes from the centre by Metro is available as the majority shareholders, a group of local councils supposedly want to offload it before a debt becomes due next year. Fancy a collection of British airports? Peel Holidays has been talking to Vancouver Airport about selling off Robin Hood Doncaster,( or whatever it’s called this week) Durham Tees Valley and Liverpool John Lennon. Something bigger? Well BAA has to sell off Stansted and wither Edinburgh or Glasgow. I’ll even accept Nectar points like easyJet does.
Prefer something warmer? AENA, the state controller of Spanish airports is considering making available 40 year leases for both Madrid and Barcelona Airports or, if you’ve deep pockets, you might be able to buy 49% of AENA which would give you a stake in 47 airports worldwide.
How about a gamble? Atlantic City Airport in the US is up for grabs. The casinos and beaches entice the visitors. One way to get there is by plane and if you own the airport you could be in the chips.
Does any of this matter to you or I? For the most part ,no. What concerns us is that our local airport is friendly, quick to get through, efficient and, preferably, has planes that go to where we want to so that we don’t have to traipse to Heathrow or Manchester. And speaking of Manchester, they could be in the market to pick up an airport to add to their collection of Humberside and East Midlands. If you don’t live in the south east of England or fly into Gatwick you may not have noticed the changes that a new owner can bring. Gatwick is beginning to provide new competition and is tackling some of the problems like security lines that passengers have been complaining about for years. So, yes it may matter. New owners can inject new life and new ideas into how airports can be run. Expect to see changes at some stage later this year then.