Ryanair move: talks on 25% stake
RYANAIR HAS held discussions about taking a 25 per cent stake in Stansted Airport, which has a price tag of more than £1 billion, after current owner BAA announced yesterday it was ending a legal battle to prevent the sale.
A spokesman for Ryanair, which operates 41 aircraft from the airport, said it would be interested in a deal.
Ryanair has long campaigned to have airports remade in its low-cost image and has cited Stansted as an example of facilities out of kilter with the low-cost model now dominating European short-haul markets.
A Ryanair-owned airport would emphasise low cost and quick turnarounds. The airline would seek to speed up the time between check-in and security and the departure gate. “We want as small and efficient a facility as possible,” a Ryanair spokesman said.
At Stansted, that would probably have to apply to a new terminal. The current terminal, designed by British architect Lord Foster, embodies the “glass palaces” hated by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary. Passengers would also be expected to walk on and off aircraft via steps, instead of the airport bridges common at Heathrow. – (Guardian service)