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Ryanair Want a Stake in Stansted Airport

This week Ryanair have made a unique offer to any prospective buyer of Stansted Airport that the airline would be willing to take a financial stake in the airport to demonstrate the airline’s, Stansted’s biggest customer, committment to the airport in the long term.

Stansted Airport owners, BAA, have been told on numerous ocassions that they are required to dispose of Stansted, London’s third international airport, as part of a 2009 European Competition Commission ruling.

The interest in Stansted is expected to be high, but this doesn’t change the fact that Ryanair have expressed concerns previously at the drop in passenger numbers from the airport in recent years. Michael O’Leary has confirmed that whilst it is not something they would normally do, the offer to take a stake in the airport has been put forward to help a consortium have the confidence to purchase Stansted from BAA and help lift the airport from what has been a period of stagnation for London’s third airport after Gatwick and Heathrow.

A local business owner who wished to remain nameless reported,

“This news means that Ryanair are serious about their long term committment to the airport and I am hopeful that after this summer BAA see sense and allow Stansted to be sold to an operator that is passionate about its offer and enable it to compete more directly with Gatwick and Heathrow. Falling passenger numbers of 5 million since 2007 is not acceptable and whilst this trend follows the woes of the wider economy, I can’t help but think that BAA are no longer well placed to help reverse this worrying trend for the airport.”

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