In an interesting twist of fate, it seems that the airport that was most recently shut down due to a drone attack (or not), Gatwick Airport, has been bought by a French airport company, Vinci Airports.
This large firm owns 40 different airports around the world, from Asia, America and across Europe. They are not without controversy, however, with some of their purchases creating mini-monopolies in regions due to lack of competition, such as in France.
What the details of the deal?
Vinci will acquire 50.1% of London Gatwick Airport, with the remainder continuing to be owned by the original owners. The deal is expected to cost them around £2.9 ($3.7) billion and will be finalized by mid-next year.
“This acquisition represents a major strategic move by Vinci Airports into a strongly performing airport located in a globally significant aviation market. Gatwick will become the largest single airport in Vinci Airports’ growing worldwide network.” – Vinci Airports Statement
Senior airport staff are welcoming the deal, suggesting that the new owners will invest heavily into the airport and allow them to expand.
This is good news for the airport as it will mean both continuity but also further investment for passengers over the coming years to improve our services further. We currently fly to over 220 destinations around the world and are ambitious to do even more in the years ahead.” – Stewart Wingate, Airport’s Chief Executive
Currently, there are no plans to replace any of the senior staff, with chairman Sir David Higgins, chief exec Stewart Wingate, and finance chief Nick Dunn continuing in their roles.
What will this mean for you?
London Gatwick is the 2nd busiest airport behind Heathrow and is easily a major destination for thousands of people and many airlines a day. Even the slight change of its operations would have massive repercussions around the world, just like we saw with the drone incident earlier this month.
“There will be no changes to the immediate running of Gatwick and we expect the transaction to complete by the middle of next year,”
However, beyond the first year, there might be a few changes to improve efficiency and make the customer experience better. This would be improvements to checking in, more food options and upgrading security with biometrics.
This financing will also allow plans like utilizing Gatwick’s standby runway for daily flights.
One thing to keep in mind is this is a private company and they will be looking to make as much money as possible.
We will stay on this story as more details development.