Glasgow Prestwick and Manston airports to be sold

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New Zealand-based investment company Infratil is to sell off its two UK airports, Glasgow Prestwick in Scotland and Manston in Kent.

Announcing the decision at an investors' day last week, Infratil's chief executive, Marco Bogoievski, described the airports as "underperforming assets".

The company said Prestwick airport had suffered "severe traffic reductions" since 2007, and was a high risk due to its lack of competition and market power.

Meanwhile, Kent's international airport had been affected by low growth in the south of England, partly due to airlines trimming capacity. "Freight growth is insufficient to support an investment case alone," Infratil said during the investors' day.

Iain Cochrane, chief executive of Glasgow Prestwick, says: "This decision comes from a re-focusing of Infratil's investment profile and has been under consideration for some time."

He adds: "Today, it's business as usual as the busy summer season approaches."