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Airport owner plans to sell up after Covid losses

Time and date:2010-12-5 17:23:32  author:news   source:Press center8  view:  comment:0
Content summary:The parent company of London Southend Airport says it is trying to find the "right buyer". college

The owner of London Southend Airport is planning to sell the business.

Esken said it would "explore" disposing of its aviation business, which also includes its logistics provider Star Handling.

Passenger numbers at the Essex terminal dropped 90% during the coronavirus lockdowns.

"Ultimately this will benefit our airline partners, customers, local stakeholders and the region," said an airport spokesman.

Southend's three main carriers, Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet, all pulled out of the airport when the pandemic began.

Passenger numbers fell from 2.15 million in 2019-20 to 147,000 in 2020-21, and for a period there were no passenger flights whatsoever.

The airport announced post-tax losses of £21.5m in the year ending 28 February 2022.

Managers, however, have claimed to be making a comeback, having reopened routes to Faro, Malaga and Palma last year, and announced the resumption of four flights per week to Amsterdam from May 2023.

An airport spokesman added: "Our parent company Esken is exploring a sale of London Southend Airport and initial planning for this has already started.

"Esken will look for the right buyer with the capital to support our new management team and our ambitious growth prospects over the long term."

Esken, the British infrastructure company, released an update about its strategic review on Thursday ahead of publishing its account for the last year.

It read: "The board has concluded that it is in the best interests of all stakeholders to secure the long-term potential of these businesses and deliver value for Esken shareholders through a managed disposal process."

The Esken announcement also said the outlook across the UK aviation sector for this summer was "increasingly positive".

It also plans to sell its fuel supply company, Esken Renewables.

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