Labour criticises secrecy

Glasgow Airport owner bids for loss-making Prestwick

Prestwick airport

A preferred bidder has been lined up for Prestwick

Glasgow Airport owner AGS Airports is believed to be the preferred bidder lined up to acquire Prestwick Airport.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson yesterday declined to reveal the identity of the buyer but The Scotsman later reported that AGS is in talks with the government.

The Ayrshire airport was taken into public ownership in 2013 following a series of heavy losses.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, who yesterday announced he was terminating Abellio’s ScotRail contract, said today he had accepted a recommendation from the airport’s operators to appoint a preferred bidder for Prestwick.

His refusal to name the bidder drew criticism from Scottish Labour who accused the Government of sneaking out the news on the last day of parliament before the Christmas recess, thereby denying MSPs the opportunity to raise questions.

Ministers put the airport up for sale in the summer and last month said it had received a number of bids.

In a written statement on Thursday, the minister said the Scottish government had made it clear in 2013 that it intended to return Prestwick to the private sector “when the time was right”.

He said: “We were pleased that the opportunity to buy the business, set out in the Official Journal of the European Union, attracted considerable interest.

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