London City Airport has been put up for sale, with owner Global Infrastructure Partners said to want to cash in on the current air travel boom. Bankers have yet to be appointed although the sales process is due to pick up pace in September.
GIP director Michael McGhee told the FT that the market demand for quality airports is “very high” and added there are no plans to sell Gatwick or Edinburgh airports.
GIP owns 75 per cent of London City and US buyout firm Oaktree Capital owns a 25 per cent stake, though both are reported to be in agreement on a sale.
London City Airport’s passenger numbers have doubled over the past decade from two million in 2005 to an estimated 4.1 million in 2015.
London City, based in the Royal Docks in Newham, has seen demand soar given its close proximity to the City and Canary Wharf.
It also attracts wealthier and corporate travellers through its private jet centre.
London City Airport has appealed against the mayor’s veto and a decision is expected by the end of next year.
With a majority stake in the fast-growing airport, GIP has already hired advisers to work on the deal, according to the Financial Times.
It would also help open up the airport to new destinations, such as the Gulf, the Middle East, Russia, north Africa and the US east coast.
He did however insist that there are no plans in place within the group for the sale of its other holdings in Gatwick or Edinburgh.
The airport has plans to increase its capacity dramatically by 2023, with ambitions to take in 6 million passengers and increase the number of take-offs and landings by 50,000 a year to 120,000.