June 13, 2019

Government puts Prestwick up for sale

Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Scotland’s fourth-largest airport, behind Edinburgh, Glasgow International and Aberdeen, has been put up for sale.

Prestwick is being sold off six years after it was taken under public ownership by the Scottish government to save the airport from closure.

New Zealand-based infrastructure investor Infratil sold the unprofitable airport to the government for £1.

Infratil acquired Prestwick for £33.4 million ($48.2 million in 2001 dollars) in 2001 from Stagecoach Group.

Since becoming publicly owned in November 2013, the airport has built up almost £50 million ($63 million) of debt, while passenger numbers have been dwindling, with low-cost carrier Ryanair the only operator of scheduled flights to and from the airport.

With the Prestwick sale in 2013, Infratil exited its two UK airports, the other being the sale of Manston Airport in Kent, following what the company described as “very poor” financial outcomes brought on by the global financial crisis.