TBI in talks with Luton over airport concession

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The operator of Luton airport, TBI, is in discussions with the site's local authority owner about extending its concession in return for "major" new investment, which could raise capacity to 30 million passengers a year.

The operator of Luton airport, TBI, is in discussions with the site's local authority owner about extending its concession in return for "major" new investment, which could raise capacity to 30 million passengers a year.

TBI, whose current concession expires in 2028, said yesterday it had made an initial approach to Luton Borough Council to outline its plans, which would involve a number of "preconditions" being met before it agrees to additional investment.

Neither TBI nor the council would elaborate on the talks. However, TBI said its plans would involve "substantial capital commitments" as passenger traffic increased.

Luton is undergoing a £30m update which will increase its capacity from 8 million to 12 million passengers over the next two years. However, the Government's aviation White Paper issued a year ago said it had the potential to handle as many as 30 million passengers within the next 25 years.

TBI took full control of Luton earlier this year after paying £78m to buy out the 29 per cent minority stake held by Alterra.

TBI increased operating profits by 8 per cent to £35.3m as the continued growth of low-cost operators at its main UK airports fuelled a 12 per cent increase in passenger numbers.

Luton saw a 9 per cent growth in traffic and a small rise in operating profits to £13.9m, while passenger numbers were up 12 per cent and profits 17 per cent higher at Belfast International. Traffic at Cardiff fell 4 per cent to 1.2 million following the decision by bmibaby to reduce capacity and services but the airport still managed to increase profits by 3 per cent.

The hurricanes which lashed the Florida coastline over the summer cost TBI's Orlando Sanford airport £200,000 but it managed to increase underlying profits by 21 per cent to £2.3m.

Comments