Balfour in sale talks over airport future

The company which owns Blackpool Airport has confirmed it is in talks over a sale.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 11th March 2017, 11:32 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Blackpool Airport one year on since its temporary closure
Blackpool Airport one year on since its temporary closure

But Balfour Beatty said it can give no further details at present.

The announcement follows a report to the Blackpool Business Leadership Group earlier this year which revealed that a “due diligence” process was under way.

Due diligence is the process where a company examines the books and assets of another prior to a deal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Balfour Beatty put the airport up for sale in October last year, two years after the shock temporary closure of Squires Gate’s aviation facilities.

At the time Balfours said it could no longer sustain the huge £1.5m a year losses from its commercial airline operation and as a result operator Jet2 left Blackpool Airport and it closed fore several weeks.

It reopened on a smaller scale and its only commercial airline operator is Citywing, which flies to the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland, announced it has ceased trading.

But it has built up its helicopter and private jet operation under current operating company Squires Gate Airport Operations Ltd which is owned by Balfour Beatty but run by Regional and City Airports part of the Rigby Group based in Stratford.

A spokesman for Balfour Beatty today said: “I can confirm that we are in negotiations to sell the airport, but I have no further detail at this stage.”

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative Group on Blackpool Council said: “I believe that a sale will be announced soon. There have been a few expressions of interest.

“The airport has been doing well recently with its heliport, private jet and general aviation operations and has been well run by the current management team. But I doubt if any new owner would be keen to bring back commercial holiday flights.”