Manston to change hands

MANSTON Airport and Prestwick Airport in the UK are to be sold by New Zealand-based owner Infratil.

Despite encouraging cargo growth at Manston – 21 per cent up on tonnage in 2011 and 23 per cent ahead of budget – weak passenger business at Prestwick has concerned Infratil.

Prestwick relied heavily on Ryanair flights, which have been cut back sharply in the past two years, as the airline moved business to Edinburgh (UK).

Prestwick Airport saw a drop of nearly 20 per cent in passenger numbers in July 2011, compared with the same month last year.

“This decision comes from a re-focusing of Infratil’s investment profile and has been under consideration for some time. It’s consistent with Infratil chief executive officer Marco Bogoievski’s public comments over recent months,” Glasgow Prestwick chief executive Iain Cochrane comments.

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