Sale raises questions over airport future

Corporate affairs manager at Blackpool Airport, Sue Kendrick.
Corporate affairs manager at Blackpool Airport, Sue Kendrick.
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Bosses at Blackpool Airport have played down speculation owner Balfour Beatty could sell the hub after it offloaded Exeter Airport.

The company has sold its remaining stake in Exeter to Patriot Aerospace for an undisclosed sum.

But corporate affairs manager at Blackpool Airport, Sue Kendrick, said: “Following the sale of Exeter International, there will no doubt be an amount of speculation and conjecture surrounding Blackpool’s future.

“The ownership and management of Blackpool Airport remains the same and is not affected by this acquisition.

“Balfour Beatty remain the 95 per cent owner with Blackpool Council retaining a five per cent share.”

Since Balfour Beatty took over at Blackpool Airport in 2008, the firm has ploughed £27m into the air terminal.

At one time it was losing £4.5m a year but measures, including the introduction of the £10 Airport Development Fee in 2009, have now seen those losses reduced to £2m a year.

An additional 20,000 passengers are expected to use the hub this year.

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for transport at Blackpool Council, said as far as the council was aware, Balfour Beatty remained committed to Blackpool Airport.

He said: “The airport is an integral part of Blackpool’s economy and the council has fully encouraged the recent development of new flights.”

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