MP raises Prestwick Airport investment fears

Local MP, Brian Donohue, has complained that a lack of investment in Prestwick Airport by its New Zealand-based owner Infratil is damaging prospects of a sale and jeopardising its future. Upkeep at the airport had suffered following Infratil’s decision to put it on the market in March 2012 – and there is no progress yet on selling it.  Numbers of passengers and freight at Prestwick have fallen markedly in recent years. Infratil said: “The reality is that when a business is for sale, the current shareholder is unlikely to spend any more than they need to.”  Passengers were down 47% in 2011 compared to the peak in 2007, and freight was 71% down in 2011 compared to its peak in 2000.





24 September 2012 (BBC)

Prestwick Airport
Prestwick has been put up for sale by owners Infratil
    `A lack of investment in Prestwick Airport by its New Zealand-based owner is damaging prospects of a sale and jeopardising its future, according to a local MP.

Central Ayrshire Labour MP Brian Donohoe claimed upkeep at the airport had suffered following a decision by Infratil to put it on the market.

Infratil announced in March it would sell its 100% stake in Prestwick.

It said interested parties would decide on any investment that may be required.

Prestwick has seen passenger numbers plummet in the past few years, with freight figures also suffering.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Donohoe said: “The fact is that they (Infratil) have taken it off its balance sheet as an operation and that doesn’t help the situation obviously as a result of the non-investment that goes with that.

“You don’t take an airport into ownership on a short-term basis – you take it on the basis of long term.”

‘Tough market’

Infratil Airports Europe chief executive Tom Wilson told The Herald newspaper: “The sales process is running slowly, which is symptomatic of the general state of the economy rather than any particular investment policy Infratil has.

“It’s a tough market to enter – since 2008, aviation has been at best static and in many places in decline.

“The reality is that when a business is for sale, the current shareholder is unlikely to spend any more than they need to.

“And it’s also the case that anyone interested in purchasing the airport will look at the size of the operation and decide on any investment that may be required.”

Mr Wilson said there were a number of parties who had expressed interest in buying the airport but would not name them or discuss any details of the negotiations.

He added: “I believe Ryanair, with its 27 routes here, is still very pleased with its performance at Prestwick but that is in the context of the market being very tough.”






CAA airport statistics       CAA statistics  


Terminal Passengers

Number of passengers (thousands)
CAA – Terminal Passengers 1999 – 2009  (annual figures, table 10.3)
2011    1,296 (down – 22%  on 2010)
2010    1,660, (down – 9% on 2009)  link to 2010 data
2009    1,817  (down – 27.4% compared to 2008)
2008    2,414  (thousand)
2007    2,421
2006    2,395
2005    2,405
2000       905
1997       567


Air Transport Movements

Number of ATMs (thousands)
CAA ATM statistics 1999 – 2009   (annual figures, table 4.2)
2011     10 (down – 24%  on 2010)
2010     13 (down -15% on 2009)   link to 2010 data
2009     15  (down – 29.8% compared to 2008)
2008     20 (approx – thousands):
2007     20
2006     19
2005     21
2000     11
1997     10

Air Freight

Freight tonnage  
CAA Air Freight statistics 1999 – 2009    (annual figures, table 13.2)
2011     11,846 ( down – 3%  on 2010)
2010    12,163  (down – 9% on 2009)    link to 2010 data
2009    13,385  (down 41% on 2008)
2008     22,966  (down -27% on 2007)
2007    31,517
2006    28,537
2005    29,199
2000    41,450
1997    33,874





Passenger downturn prompts slump in Prestwick airport’s valuation

May 17, 2012    Passenger numbers at Prestwick in 2011 half the level of 2007. There were 1.2 million passengers in 2011. This fall in passengers has greatly reduced the price of the airport, which Infratil is trying to sell. Financial figures put the value of Prestwick and Kent Manston airports at £33 million ($64.7 million), down from £44m a year ago. Prestwick and Manston contributed an after-tax loss of $37.4 million (£17.9 million) in the year. Both airports were put on the market in March after Infratil said they were not performing. A buyer has yet to be identified for Prestwick. One reason for the slump of passenger numbers to the lowest level in a decade is the decision by Ryanair to focus growth at Edinburgh airport. Aviation analysts have questioned whether Prestwick would be able to recover from the decline that began late in 2008. It has long been reliant almost entirely on services offered by Ryanair.     Click here to view full story…


Warning Prestwick will find it difficult to expand

15.3.2012  The airport will find it difficult to attract new airlines to boost passenger services after being sold, according to the man who oversaw its sale. John Baillie, operations director at aviation consultancy MPD Group, said the Ayrshire airport needed to expand its route network and become less dependent on Ryanair to reverse the decline that has seen it lose a million passengers over the past four years.  But he said any bidders interested in buying the airport after it was put on the market last week would recognise this would be “extremely difficult”.

“There are many more airports than airlines. The airport is likely to fetch less than £10m,


Prestwick airport is to be sold by New Zealand owners

March 9, 2012     Prestwick has relied heavily on Ryanair flights, which have been cut back sharply in the past two years, as the airline moved business to Edinburgh. New Zealand-based Infratil said the sales are the result of a decision to refocus where it plans to invest. It has also decided to sell Manston. Prestwick Chief Executive Iain Cochrane said “Prestwick is a great airport with a great team and a great future. I believe this is an excellent opportunity for us to attract new investment into the airport to provide the stimulus for future growth.” In reality Prestwick saw a drop of nearly 20% in passenger numbers in July 2011, compared with the same month last year. Passengers for all of 2011 were around 1,295,600, down -21.9% on 2010. This is down hugely from the 1,817,200 or so in 2009.    Click here to view full story…