London Gatwick Airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has sold a 50.01 per cent stake for £2.9 billion to Vinci Airports – which operates a network of 46 airports in 12 countries.
GIP will continue to maintain its integral role in the management and ownership of the airport – the world’s busiest single runway gateway.
GIP and Vinci Airports, Gatwick’s chairman Sir David Higgins said: “We very much welcome this commitment from VINCI Airports to Gatwick which is a vote of confidence in Gatwick and its future potential.”
Gatwick chief executive, Stewart Wingate said: “Our chairman and I, along with our senior management team, will all remain at Gatwick and look forward to improving services further for our passengers. There will be no changes to the immediate running of Gatwick and we expect the transaction to complete by the middle of next year.
“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.”
Gatwick was closed for 36 hours before Christmas due to drone activity and Wingate said: “Now we are through the recent disruption at the airport and services are fully back to normal I would once again like to express my thanks to passengers for their patience during this challenging period.
“There are obviously wider strategic lessons for everyone involved to prevent it happening again, and Gatwick itself has taken a number of important steps in recent days which will make a significant difference to the airport’s resilience.”