6 May 2012

Infratil's Scottish passenger volumes slump

4:50 am on 6 May 2012

Prestwick Airport in Scotland- which has been put up for sale by its New Zealand owners Infratil - has seen passenger numbers fall by a third over the past year.

Airport data shows a total of about 140,000 passengers in the first three months of 2012 - compared with almost 214,000 for the same period last year, the BBC reports.

Freight figures also fell from almost 3300 tonnes for the first three months of 2011 to 2925 this year.

Over the 12 months to the end of March, Prestwick, near Glasgow, handled 1.22m passengers, about 300,000 down on the previous year.

Infratil - listed on the NZX - announced in March it would sell its 100% stakes in Prestwick - which it bought in 2001 £33.4 million - and a second UK airport, Kent Manston.

The Wellington-based infrastructure investment company has since selected PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake the sales.

Prestwick has in the past relied heavily on Ryanair flights, which have been cut back sharply in the last two years as the airline moved business to Edinburgh.