Copenhagen Airports is set to spark an auction by inviting bids for its 49% stake in Newcastle airport, according to a weekend report.

The northeast airport has attracted interest from various infrastructure firms including 3i, Antin and Australian fund IFM, the Sunday Times reported.

Seven local councils will retain their 51% holding in the airport.

The airport’s owners are also in talks over restructuring its debts with a £320 million repayment due in December 2013.

Newcastle airport handled 4.4 million passengers in 2010 with airlines serving 80 destinations.