The budget airline’s chiefs said they had no plans to pull out of the taxpayer-owned Ayrshire hub as the Scottish Government came under pressure to publish a business plan for its investment.
Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume said: “Less than nine months after stating that they were committed to Prestwick, Ryanair’s decision to remove [nearly half] of its routes away from the airport is upsetting news for all involved. At a time when we need to work together to ensure the viability of the airport that is an important contributor to the Ayrshire economy, I am disappointed that Ryanair hasn’t backed up its words with actions.”
….. story continues for those registered with the Herald ….
Scottish government outlines nearly £10m of public funding for failing Prestwick airport
The Scottish government bought Prestwick from Infratil for £1 in November 2013. Now Prestwick is to receive nearly £10 million of investment from the Scottish government. It will go towards operating costs, a repairs and maintenance backlog and to make improvements to the terminal building. The airport has lost nearly £10 million in 2013. It was announced towards the end of May that a taxpayer-funded report on the future viability of Prestwick would not be published, to protect commercially confidential information. This has led to accusations that ministers are expecting “blind faith” from the public and “keeping taxpayers in the dark” on spending public money. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said £5.5m had been provided already since acquisition and the Scottish government would be required “to provide a further £3m in operating support”. There will be nearly £7m in capital investment – £4.5m for repairs and £2.4m to make improvements to the terminal building.. Future revenue could come from freight and retail development. Future revenue may come from freight and retail development
Report on financial viability of Prestwick Airport to be kept confidential by government
A taxpayer-funded report on the future viability of Prestwick Airport will not be published, to protect commercially confidential information, despite at least £5 million of public money having been pledged to ensure its survival. This has led to accusations that ministers are expecting “blind faith” from the public when it comes to justifying spending taxpayers’ money. The report follows a review that took 3 months. The airport has been losing millions of pounds under its previous owners. Although the full document is being withheld, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to report key findings to the parliament’s Infrastructure Committee in June. The Scottish Government bought Prestwick for £1 in November 2013. Labour’s infrastructure spokesman has said it was unacceptable for the report to be kept secret, and the public deserves to know how the £5 million will be repaid. The CEO of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar has claimed Government ownership of Prestwick was distorting competition in the Central Belt of Scotland. . Glasgow Airport chiefs are also said to be uneasy over the arrangement. Prestwick lost £9.7 million last year.
Prestwick Airport reveals spiralling losses – almost £10 million in 2013
March 7, 2014
The full scale of Prestwick Airport’s financial problems are revealed in the latest accounts, which show a pre-tax loss of almost £10 million in its final full year of private ownership. Its financial problems have escalated with a pre-tax loss of £9.77m in the 12 months to March 31, 2013. The airport made a £2.3m pre-tax loss in the year to March 2012. Last March its owners, Infratil, put the airport up for sale, but as no buyer could be found, the Scottish Government stepped in and bought Prestwick for a £1 on November 22 2013. Prestwick had a 20% fall in the number of passengers in July 2012 compared to the same month in 2011 – the busiest time of the year with the school holidays. The airport’s accounts state that Prestwick is only a going concern if its owner is willing to continue funding deficits. Such an undertaking has been made by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish ministers ie. public subsidy. Only Ryanair is operating scheduled flights, and a significant percentage of the airport’s aviation revenue is derived from freight and other aircraft activity.
Prestwick Airport to be sold to Scottish Government for £1 – and other failing regional airports look to business parks and housing
Ryanair’s new routes help lift the gloom at Prestwick
Prestwick – currently up for sale – has welcomed the extra Ryanair flights, which will launch next year. As Ryanair announced the services to 2 Polish airports, it said a move to Glasgow International Airport had been ruled out. The airline also unveiled six new routes from Edinburgh. Tom Wilson, chief executive of Prestwick’s owners, Infratil Airports Europe, said it would help reassure potential investors about the future of the airport. Ryanair is planning to increase the frequency of its existing services at both Edinburgh and Prestwick and reverse two years of decline in which passenger numbers have fallen by 18%. Prestwick will see new routes to Rzeszow and Warsaw Modlin, taking the total to 27 routes and increasing the number of weekly flights from 86 to 95.