Wednesday, 1 February 2012

BAA loses appeal against forced sale of Stansted airport

A tribunal over BAA's ownership of Stansted airport has ruled that the decision by the Competition Competition was correct and that BAA must sell the airport due to BAA's dominance in the UK.

The tribunal came after BAA were told in 2009 that it should sell three of the seven British airports and that this adversley affected passengers and airlines which use BAA airports. Since 2009 BAA have sold Gatwick airport for £1.5bn and is poised to sell Edinburgh airport this summer. This has lead to BAA saying that the measures take since 2009 have gone far enough and BAA could still appeal the decision by the tribunal in order to overturn  this decision.

BAA are keen to retain Stansted airport as it is a particularly busy short haul hub with 550 aircraft movements per day and some 18 million passengers per year.

Commenting on the decision, a spokesperson for BAA said: "We are disappointed by the decision of the competition appeal tribunal, which we will now carefully consider before making any further statements."

One airline who are particulary pleased with the ruling is Ryanair who have felt that the airport has been poorly managed and expensive to use. Stephen McNamara of Ryanair said: "These repeated delays in the sale of Stansted must now end. Ferrovial [the 49.99% shareholder] and the other owners of Stansted are unfairly enriching themselves at the expense of UK passengers/visitors who are suffering higher charges and third-rate service."

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