Ryanair Announces Withdrawal from London Stansted Airport Acquisition

Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, has withdrawn its offer to acquire London Stansted Airport in the UK.

The airline has been advised by BAA Stansted’s owner, Ferrovial, that it will exclude Ryanair from the Stansted sale process. The airline is the largest airline operating out of the airport, with around 70 percent of the current traffic.

The airline head of communications, Stephen McNamara, said, ‘We regret Ferrovial’s decision to exclude Ryanair from the Stansted sale process and the failure of the Competition Commission to restrain this anti-competitive and anti-customer behaviour by Ferrovial.

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 percent of the traffic, is excluded from this sale process.

This year’s continuing traffic decline underlines the extraordinary damage done to Stansted airlines and passengers by the Ferrovial/BAA airport monopoly and we look forward to discussing cost reductions and traffic growth with the new owners of Stansted when it is finally sold.

The only way Stansted’s traffic decline can be reversed is if its uncompetitive charges are significantly reduced, initially by reversing the disastrous 100 percent price increase imposed by the BAA monopoly at Stansted in 2007.’

Ryanair was initially interested in acquiring a minority stake in the airport, and has written to all investors with regards to its decision to back out of the sales process.

Stansted Airport is London’s third busiest airport, and the fourth busiest airport in the UK. Around 17.5m passengers and 133,500 flights touch down at the airport every year.