Edinburgh Airport could be sold off by GIP

Scotland’s busiest airport could be set to change hands in a multibillion pound deal, according to reports. The private equity firm which owns Edinburgh Airport is said to considering a sale of the hub in a deal which could it see it make a profit in excess of £1bn. Edinburgh Airport news from Airport Taxis Edinburgh International

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a New York based investor group, purchased the airport from the now defunct BAA for £807m seven years ago.

But amid speculation the company is now looking to cash on soaring valuations of aviation infrastructure, it could sell on Edinburgh for as much as £2bn.

It is understood any potential sale could accelerate the airport’s growth strategy. Flights are being launched to 12 new European routes later this year as well as a new link to the US city of Boston.

GIP has also welcomed new hotel development at the Turnhouse site along with a major expansion of its retail space. Plans are also in place to transform nearby land into an international business park.ADVERTISING

inRead invented by Teads

Last year GIP sold off its majority stake in Gatwick, with a hotly contested auction ultimately won by a £2.9bn bid from Vinci, the French airport operator.

In 2016, GIP sold London City Airport to a Canadian consortium for around £2bn, nearly three times what it paid for the hub a decade previously.

With Edinburgh GIP’s sole remaining part of its British airport portfolio, city sources told the Sunday Telegraph the company is considering dispensing with it altogether.

It comes at a time when Scotland’s busiest terminal is enjoying unprecedented growth.

It handled nearly 15 per cent more passengers last month than it did over the same period in 2018, with the airport’s passenger total soaring to 1,106,998, the first time it has topped the one million figure in March.

It means the traditionally quieter months of January and February are the only ones not to achieve passenger totals in excess of seven figures in the space of a calendar year.

One major airport investor told the Sunday Telegraph that GIP is expected to wait for more clarity over Brexit before launching a formal sale process

One city source said major infrastructure funds including Brookfield, Macquarie, APG and CKI could be among those to register an interest in taking over Edinburgh.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport declined to comment on the reports, but it is not the first time GIP have been linked with a sale.

The group was said to have explored hiving off the hub in 2017, but decided against the move because uncertainty surrounding Brexit – in particular access to European aviation markets – would impact on the price.

Edinburgh Christmas festivals expexted to generate record visitors

THE economic impact of major festivals to Edinburgh has been underlined by a new report that has found the capital’s Christmas events generated £113m last year. Book your Edinburgh Airport taxis on 0800-6190575 .

Underbelly, the major Fringe producers who also manage the Christmas festival and Hogmanay, said last year’s events – which include an ice rink, a market, a city centre fair and other attractions – drew 919,344 visitors.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “More than 1.8 million people passed through Edinburgh Airport last November and December and we expect to see that rise this year.”

Over the six week run, the Christmas festival grew its audience by 3.7%, which was up from 886,651 visitors the previous year, a report by BOP Consulting has found.

Underbelly recently released an impact assessment, by the same company, for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay which showed an economic impact for Edinburgh from the festival in 2017/18 of £39m.

Footfall to Edinburgh’s Christmas three main sites was counted at 4.653m.

The centre of the city is transformed during the festival, with attractions, rides, food markets and a big wheel taking up Princes Street Gardens and St Andrew Square.

More than 771,000 tickets were bought for Edinburgh’s Christmas rides, attractions and shows last year.

The majority of the attendees were from outside Edinburgh and the Lothian area.

Of the 65% who came from outside the capital, around seven per cent came from 47 different countries including Australia, Ireland, USA, Holland, Spain, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand.

Last year was the fifth year of Underbelly produced Edinburgh’s Christmas for the City of Edinburgh Council.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Underbelly, said: “It’s fantastic to get this independent research and to read its finding of the vast economic impact that Edinburgh’s Christmas brings to the city and to Scotland.

“We’re very proud that Edinburgh’s Christmas is now firmly on the map as a global winter destination with sky high levels of customer satisfaction and return visits, and visitors who consistently rate the event as their major reason for coming to Edinburgh.

“The research shows that the event supports thousands of jobs in the city but it’s great to see how many residents also come and enjoy its attractions.”

The Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, said: “Over 142,333 tickets were snapped up last year by Edinburgh residents with their 20% discount, and 69% of citizens said Edinburgh’s Christmas was the main or only reason they came into the city centre that day.”

Roddy Smith, the chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh’s Christmas delivers huge footfall gains and economic impact for the city centre every year and we expect this year, especially with Silent Light – with its combination of spectacle and fun – to be no different.

“We are delighted to be a partner in the creation of what promises to be the most fun and exciting attraction yet for George Street this Christmas.

“2017 was fantastic for the city centre and we are looking forward the attractions this year.”

 

Edinburgh Airport launches public consultation on new plans for flights over Fife

A Kirkcaldy MP is urging residents in coastal communities from Limekilns to Aberdour to make their voices heard on a brand-new flight path proposal. Edinburgh Airport launched a four-week public consultation on Friday after drawing up new plans for flights crossing the skies over Fife – but the exercise omits a public meeting. The revised E7a route – which replaces E7 – will mainly affect communities in Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing and North Queensferry. Initial impact assessments suggest flight heights have been lowered and the turning circle has been increased, which will result in more households being affected.

However, it appears flight number projections have been reduced to an estimated 47 flights per day by 2024. Lesley Laird, member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said: “The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has clearly asked Edinburgh airport to look again at their proposals.

Read more at: https://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/mp-calls-for-public-meeting-on-flight-path-plans-1-4746258