Airlines consider selling stake in air traffic control

A consortium of seven airlines may seek to sell a minority stake in the UK’s National Air Traffic Services.

A weekend report suggested that German air traffic controller provider DFS could be a potential contender together with various infrastructure investment funds.

The sale is by the Airline Group, seven airlines that bought into Nats with a 42% stake when it was privatised 11 years ago.

It is thought that leisure airline members such as Thomas Cook and Monarch want to press ahead with a sale while others, including easyJet, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, are thought to want to retain their shareholdings, the Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper, quoting sources close to the situation, said that a sale of a minority stake was the likely outcome.

This could act as a trigger for the eventual sale of the government’s majority shareholding in Nats and a consolidation of Europe’s air traffic control systems.

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