A preferred bidder for Glasgow Prestwick airport has pulled out amid the coronavirus crisis, Scottish ministers have disclosed today.
Efforts have been under way to find private owners for the airport, which has been in public hands since 2013 when former owner Infratil sold the airport to the Scottish government for a nominal sum.
Earlier this month Scotland’s transport minister Michael Matheson said that talks with an undisclosed preferred bidder were continuing, with the aim of completing negotiations by 4 October.
But in a written update to the Scottish parliamentary committee today, Michael Matheson says ”As the Committee is aware, Covid 19 has impacted on the aviation sector globally. We have been advised that the company selected as preferred bidder does not wish to complete the purchase of the business at this time.
”Scottish Ministers will reflect upon future options for the business,” he adds.
Ryanair is the only scheduled operator into Prestwick, which handled 640,000 passengers in 2019, down 8% on the previous year. The airport also has strong freight activity.