The new owners of Stansted say the airport has potential for “significant volume growth over the short, medium and long term”.

Manchester Airports Group and Australia-based Industry Funds Management agreed a £1.5 billion takeover of the Essex airport from Heathrow Airport Holdings – the former BAA – on Friday.

They pledged that it would be “business as usual” while the acquisition is finalised

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish aims to restore Stansted to its 2007 traffic peak within a decade.

He said: “We will use [our] expertise at Stansted to ensure that the airport can fulfil its potential as a high-quality alternative London access point for global air travellers.

“Stansted has scope to benefit from significant volume growth over the short, medium and long term.”

Traffic at the airport has fallen by a quarter since a record 23.8 million passengers used it in 2006/07.

Ryanair, the airline responsible for almost 70% of Stansted’s traffic, welcomed the sale.

The airline said its team “look forward to working with the team at MAG to develop low fare traffic growth at Stansted”, after withdrawing from the auction for the airport in October.