Prestwick losses deepen

Prestwick losses deepen

Prestwick airport incurred a loss of more than £9 million last year, according to its annual accounts.

The Scottish government-owned airport made a pre-tax loss of £9.2 million for 2015-16 – an increase on the £8.7 million loss the previous year.

The airport said the losses for the 12 months to March 2016 were less than the figure forecast in its budget.

Ministers bought the airport for just £1 from previous owner Infratil in 2013 amid fears hat it could close

The government estimated in December that the bailout could reach £40 million by 2018, the BBC reported.

The annula report from TS Prestwick Holdco – the company set up to acquire the airport on behalf of Scottish ministers – shows that passenger numbers fell to 624,000 from 827,000 year-on-year.

The airport has suffered a “substantial drop” in passenger numbers over the last five years, however indications are that there will be an increase in numbers over the next three years, according to the report.

Prestwick is continuing to work closely with its single scheduled carrier Ryanair to support existing routes and develop potential new services.

“In addition, work on understanding and analysing the best potential fit of new customer airlines has been on-going throughout the early part of 2016 and one or two key potential opportunities have emerged,” the report added.

“Those specific airline customers have been engaged and work is now ongoing to involve a range of key partners including Transport Scotland, Visit Scotland and local authorities to develop an attractive route development package that secures the new business.

“Although the early signs are very positive, the directors understand that the securing of new passenger airline business is not a short term process and any associated additional revenues will not likely be realised until late 2017.”


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