BAA loses Stansted appeal

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Car Rental News - 02/02/2012


Airport operator BAA has lost its appeal against a ruling that it must sell-off Stansted airport.

The company, which owns and operates Heathrow, must follow through with the sale of the north London facility following a mandatory order from the Competition Commission in 2009, as a result of a tribunal ruling this week.

The company has since obliged with the compulsory sale of two of its other British airports following the 2009 ruling that it was overly dominant in the UK commercial aviation industry, but has heavily resisted selling off Stansted from the start.

BAA officials had argued in the appeal that conditions had changed since the initial regulatory ruling, noting the £1.5 billion sale of Gatwick in 2009 and the imminent sale of Edinburgh airport, set to take place this year. The firm also had said that Stansted, which hosted around 550 flights a day and some 18.3 million passengers last year, serves an entirely different market than Heathrow.

A spokesman for the company said officials were “disappointed” by the ruling and said the decision would be considered carefully before any further statements would be issued.

Meanwhile, Ryanair, whose UK operations are heavily based at Stansted, applauded the decision, citing high passenger fees and declining traffic at the airport under the BAA.

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