Saturday, July 13, 2024

Airport for Sale? London’s Southend Airport is Up for Sale

The owner of Southend Airport, located about 42 miles east of central London, has announced that the airport is up for sale. This has raised concerns about the financial stability of the airport and its owner, UK infrastructure company Esken. The company’s financial situation is currently challenging.

Esken has stated that there is uncertainty regarding its ability to continue operating, and its directors have had to make significant judgments to conclude that the company can still function as a going concern. The company’s shares have experienced a significant decline, dropping by 25% to 2.79p, and have decreased by 67% over the past year.

To manage its financial difficulties, the company arranged a borrowing facility of £50 million last year. However, it has now decided that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to seek new owners for its core businesses through a managed sale process.

Despite recently securing a multi-year agreement with easyJet for new routes, including Amsterdam, the company has chosen to sell the airport. During the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the airport had been closed to commercial passengers but reopened last summer.

Esken, formerly known as Stobart Group, purchased Southend Airport in 2008 for £21 million. However, several major airlines, such as EasyJet, Ryanair, and Wizzair, have ceased operations at the airport, with only EasyJet returning so far.

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