England’s British Airports Authority (BAA) was told by the country’s Competition Committee that it has to sell Gatwick, Stansted, and Edinburgh airports. The watchdog group has pointed to a lack of competition as the reason for advising the sales. “Under separate ownership, the airport operators including BAA, will have a much greater incentive to be far more responsive to their customers, both airlines and passengers.”
BAA was bought by Spanish company Ferrovial two years ago. The Competition Committee’s criticism of BAA might look like a bid to bring ownership back to the U.K. However, that is not likely to happen. BAA put Gatwick on the market in August. The top bidders thus far are German and Australian companies. Virgin Atlantic is also trying to organize a consortium of investors to make a bid.
The Scottish airports and Stansted remain in BAA’s hands for now. The organization responded to the watchdog’s report by saying that there was no compelling evidence proving that the airports, especially Stansted, should be sold.