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AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Up In The Air

Stansted owner says it won't allow Ryanair to buy the airport

Ryanair had expressed interest in buying part of the airport – but now it has been excluded from the sale.

THE OWNER OF Stansted Airport in Essex has said it will not allow the airport to be sold to Ryanair.

Ferrovial, the majority shareholder in BAA, which owns the airport, will exclude Ryanair and any Ryanair-related consortium from the sale process, the airline said this evening.

Ryanair said that it has subsequently withdrawn from the sale process after being told that it has been excluded.

“While we fully accept that Ferrovial is entirely free not to sell to Ryanair, we fail to understand how it can comply with competition law if Stansted’s biggest customer, accounting for 70 per cent of the traffic, is excluded from this sale process,” said Stephen McNamara of Ryanair.

Ryanair operates 41 planes from Stansted which is the fourth busiest airport in the UK.  It had expressed interest in August in buying or taking a minority shareholding in the airport worth around £1 billion.

The competition authority in the UK had ruled in 2009 that the airport had to be sold by the operator because of the lack of competition between airports around London.

Stansted Airport had fought a legal battle against the enforced sale but in August said that it would no longer try to stop the airport from being sold.

The airline did not specify why it has been excluded from the sale and BAA was not available for comment.

Ryanair said that it has written to all investors and consortia it had held discussions with to advise them that it will no longer be a participant in the sale process or seek a minority stake in Stansted.

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