Minister launches new bid to sell Prestwick airport
Seeking new owner
A fresh attempt is being made to sell Prestwick Airport following the breakdown of talks with a bidder in September.
A notice, inviting expressions of interest in the loss-making business, will be placed in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The airport was taken into public ownership in November 2013 to protect what the government regarded as “an important regional asset”.
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. It is now making an operating loss.
It was last reported that 300 people are employed directly and that it supports a further 1,400.
Today Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We believe there is still interest in Glasgow Prestwick Airport, so we are formally putting the business back on the market.
“Despite the recent setback in the previous sale process, the airport’s senior management team has continued to engage with potential buyers and a notice will shortly be placed in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting expressions of interest.
“This allows interested parties to submit formal proposals, and may encourage new interest as well.
“Any proposals would be considered carefully before any decision was taken to divest our shareholding in the airport or any part of the business.
“Glasgow Prestwick Airport continues to develop as a specialist airport, carving a niche in a very competitive market.
“The recent financial results – showing an increase revenue and reduction in operating losses – are encouraging and underline the significant efforts of the Prestwick team.
“This is an incredibly challenging time for the aviation industry, but we remain confident Glasgow Prestwick Airport has a role to play in Scotland’s aviation sector. As we have done throughout this process, we will update Parliament at the appropriate times.”