Gatwick Sold…to a Rival?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

You will probably all be aware by now that Gatwick has been sold by the owners BAA to the owners of London City Airport, Global Infrastructure Partners. GIP paid about £1.5 billion which in normal times would be a bit of a bargain. Since it was virtually an enforced sale I suppose the other bidders, who included Manchester Airport Group, offered even less.
The Competition Commission had told BAA to sell Gatwick and Stansted in the South East in order to break the monopoly they had of London airports. Although BAA moved to sell Gatwick before that instruction came through, they are appealing against the ruling.
Easyjet has come out and said that Gatwick is still a monopoly by which I suppose they mean that it is all owned by one group but so far no-one seems to have pointed out that if it was wrong for one company to control all London airports, is it any better that one company should own two?
If I were the owners there are a few things I would consider to reassert Gatwick as an airport of choice rather than the second class treatment it seems to have had from BAA over the last few years. It could reintroduce transatlantic flights since regardless of what airlines believe, not all of us in the south east find it easy or desirable to get into the jumble that is Heathrow. It could introduce a helicopter service to link in with the British Airways all business class flights to New York and maybe other connections. Above all it needs to give Gatwick the attention it hasn’t had.

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