Airport debts top £34m say liquidators

Blackpool Airport sign
Blackpool Airport sign
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The full extent of the debts owed by the collapse of Blackpool Airport Ltd have been revealed by liquidators.

Infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty pulled the plug on the airport it owns in October 
after it was making an average annual loss of £1.5m.

Now a report lodged at Companies House shows that unsecured creditors of the failed business are owed around £34.9m.

Much of that is owed to other Balfour Beatty companies and which can be offset against other internal funds bringing it down to £19m but £2.07m is owed to outside firms and groups.

Included in these companies and individuals owed this money are Fylde Council which was owed £168,672, Blackpool Council owed £10,500, United Utilities which is owed £125,222 and the tax man who is owed £60, 176.

The report from liquidators Zolfo Cooper estimates the realisable assets of Blackpool Airport Ltd are £528,244 from plant machinery and 
vehicles as well as stock.

It also states that the bill for redundancy and notice
 pay will be £4.29m some of which will have to be picked up by the taxpayer.

Meanwhile the airport’s former main customer – Jet2 which used to fly to 11 destinations from Squires Gate – has contacted former customers to offer them a special deal.

It is hoping to retain custom after transferring its aircraft from Blackpool to Manchester.

The message from chief executive Steve Heapy offers 20 per cent off all summer flights and up to £110 off Jet2 holidays for former Blackpool holidaymakers.

He said: “ We know you loved to fly with Jet2 from Blackpool Airport. That’s why, ever since the closure of the airport was announced, we’ve made it our highest priority to keep you happy. We really value all of our loyal Blackpool myJet2 members.

“To show that you’re a good friend of ours, we will be looking after you with lots of exclusive offers from Manchester.

“Thanks to these special deals for special members like you, our range of 45 destinations from Manchester will be even more enticing.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said earlier this week that talks were progressing over the future of the airport.

He said: “We have been talking to the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and I am hopeful that it could be included as part of an enterprise zone which could help secure its future.”

It is understood Balfour Beatty has received a number of credible inquires about buying the airport and negotiations area ongoing.