Government looks at options

Bidder pulls out of talks to acquire Prestwick

Prestwick airport

Prestwick: future uncertain

A preferred bidder for Prestwick Airport has pulled out, leaving questions about the future of the Ayrshire base.

The loss-making airport was taken into public ownership in 2013 to avoid closure.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has told MSPs that the preferred bidder – which was never named – “does not wish to complete the purchase”.

He indicated in a letter to Holyrood that the reason was linked to Covid-19’s impact on the aviation sector.

Daily Business reported last month that management remained confident of concluding talks with the potential buyer while admitting that an extension had been requested.

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The airport reported a £3 million underlying operating profit following a £1 million loss in the previous year, while revenue in the year to the end of March increased by 46% year-on-year to £36m against £24.6m.

But the improvement came ahead of the lockdown which brought the aviation industry to a near-standstill.

Mr Matheson said today that Scottish ministers would “reflect upon future options for the business”.

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