Cash injection needed: MP accuses NZ investors of abandoning Prestwick Airport since putting it up for sale

by Emily DUNBAR on September 24, 2012

An MP for Prestwick has accused the New Zealand-based owner of the local airport of jeopardising the hub’s future sale prospects by failing to invest enough money in the venture. According to Brian Donohoe, Labour MP for Central Ayrshire, the upkeep of Prestwick Airport has suffered since New Zealand firm Infratil announced in March that it was putting the facility up for sale.

Mr Donohoe is accusing the firm of abandoning the hub since its decision to sell, but Infratil claims that any further investment will be decided by those looking to buy. Both freight flights and commercial passenger numbers have plummeted at the hub in recent months.

Mr Donohoe said the airport should be viewed as a long-term investment, but a spokesman for Infratil said the slow investment is not a company policy but a direct reaction to the state of the global economy. He added that the owners are reluctant to invest more than is necessary now that the hub is up for sale, adding that the industry has been very tough since the global financial crash in 2008.

The spokesman claimed that several parties have expressed interest in the venture, but he would not go into details. He added, however, that it is the potential investors who will decide where and how the money should be spent.

Despite the poor passenger numbers at the hub, budget airline Ryanair still operates 27 routes from the facility.

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