Ryanair warns Stansted suitors not to be ‘ripped off’

Potential bidders for Stansted have been warned not to be “ripped off” by owner BAA.

Ahead of tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) opening bids deadline, Ryanair claimed that the underlying non-inflated regulated asset base (RAB) at Stansted including airfields, terminal buildings and plant, amounts to £640 million, around half of Stansted’s valuation of around £1.3 billion.

This follows a report last week suggesting that anyone else could run Stansted for £5 million less per year.

Ryanair, the airport’s largest carrier handling almost 70% of traffic, withdrew from the Stansted sale process earlier this month, claiming it had been advised by BAA parent Ferrovial that it would be excluded.

Ryanair is not participating in the sale and is not seeking a minority stake, but will continue to explore the traffic growth opportunities it believes are available at Stansted, the airline said.

But it will only do this “if and when the new owner of Stansted reverses the doubling of prices” imposed in 2007.
This led to a 25% decline in traffic at Stansted from 23.8 million passengers in 2007, to 18 million last year, the carrier claimed.

A Ryanair’ spokesman said: “Traffic at Stansted continues to decline (down another 4% in September) because the inadequate CAA regulatory regime has allowed the BAA/Ferrovial monopoly to double airport charges and inflate its RAB, while other non-regulated UK airports depreciate their assets and lower charges to stimulate traffic growth.

“Stansted can return to growth, but only when it is regulated effectively, which will require its passenger charges and its inflated RAB to be halved, thereby eliminating the effect the of BAA’s regulatory gaming in recent years.”

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