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LUTON - 7

Old 30th Jul 2013, 11:18
  #961 (permalink)  
 
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Sale of Luton airport expected to be confirmed - www.travelweekly.co.uk

Lets hope AENA make Luton work for themselves, and could potentially be an exciting era ahead for the airport, being managed by the worlds largest airport operator.

They own some pretty nice and impressive airports in Spain and would be nice if they can bring a touch of that style to Luton...

It is not a major issue, but a concern however, AENA do seem to have a bit of a love and hate issue with the Low Cost Carrier airlines that operate into their Spanish airports, and this is the very markets they will be working with here.

Take for example easyJet and Ryanair at Madrid and Barcelona, dramatically reduced their bases at both airports, after AENA decided to dramatically increase fees. AENA did not seem afraid to stand up to the airlines, and have never managed to entice them back with the sizes they once had.

You also have the issue at Alicante where Ryanair were happily using their air stairs to board/disembark aircraft, and AENA then enforced all airlines they must use the airbridges and this in turn dramatically increased fees, and Ryanair again dramatically reduced the base from twleve aircraft down to four. Other airlines like Jet2, BMI Baby (as they were) and easyJet were also very unhappy and vocal with this policy.

I just hope AENA do not try to get too greedy or enforce some draconian measures that will go against the Low Cost airlines business model.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 12:23
  #962 (permalink)  
 
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Giles - Aena have an effective monopoly on commercial airports in Spain. If an airline doesn't like Aena's terms, the only effective option is to have fewer flights. Madrid has only 1 airport now that Ciudad Real has closed. Valladolid or Zaragoza are much too far from Madrid to be plausible alternate options. In London, there are 6 airports, all with different owners - making any airline's threat to reduce service at one airport in favour of a competitor rather more credible.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 12:46
  #963 (permalink)  
 
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As I've mentioned before, I'm a little uneasy about the rumoured takeover by AENA. They are a subsidiary of the Spanish Government, which is seriously bust (unemployment in Spain is 25%, youth unemployment over 50%; debts are enormous; the economy has been in recession for several quarters; tax receipts are down, etc). And because they don't control their currency, they have few options.
The hike in charges at BCN and MAD last year was a direct consequence of Spain's economic predicament. As David Johnson says, AENA has an effective monopoly in Spain, and is as a result probably not the most efficient airport operator in the world, even if the largest.
I hope AENA come to LTN understanding the intensity of competition in the London area, and are prepared to manage it accordingly. Gatwick is roaring ahead under new ownership, Heathrow (also Spanish-owned) is building on its unique position as the UK's only hub. Southend, whilst small, has nimble owners and Stansted is now owned by the desperate men of MAG who are probably beginning to understand that they have drastically over-paid for their chunk of rural Essex, and may soon start taking desperate measures.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 12:58
  #964 (permalink)  
 
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I'm really not sure what to make of this. Stansted's sale was undoubtedly good news in my opinion in BAA's hands as it practically fell apart and now things are starting to look up with a few more exciting prospects and developments.

Luton however hasn't seen the declining traffic and the issues with competition that Stansted had therefore I'm not sure whether a change of ownership should be so welcomed.

My concern is like BAA was, AENA will be very high cost operator running an airport mainly for LCC's who want low costs. Like gilesdavies points out, what if it's in their nature to focus too much on the quality or expansion of the airport and raising fees rather than keeping the costs lower?

Having such a large portfolio of airports, could this not also endanger Luton by exposing it to just subsidising development at airports in Spain? Let's face it, the economy is not great in Spain.

Good luck to them anyhow. Let's just hope that AENA do get it right!

Last edited by FRatSTN; 30th Jul 2013 at 13:04.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 15:26
  #965 (permalink)  
 
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I believe the LTN deal with AENA is agreed. Announcement shortly. Good luck to all.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 16:55
  #966 (permalink)  
 
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Just a little point, Luton does not have airbridges so they cannot enforce such a rule.
AENA are a major player in the market so will know exactly what Luton can offer them in revenue, why would they bother otherwise, they are not buying the airport, only the right to run it for a fixed number of years.

They will know about STN, LHR (not same market), LGW and Southend, with the freebe costs to EZY which will finish, will they stay?

Last edited by pabely; 30th Jul 2013 at 17:01.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 17:38
  #967 (permalink)  
 
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AENA certainly can run airports well. Not only do they own airports that are well designed in the first instance, but employ high calibre management teams, who excel in operating airports for the masses, with the passenger in mind. – More than a little contrast to Luton then!
I dare say that many LLA executives are quite rightly scared for their future right now, and so they should be! Thankfully we can expect AENA to "shake things up" rapidly from the onset and look forward to the rapid integration of new faces and a mass cull. Happy days.

Last edited by SASKATOON9999; 30th Jul 2013 at 18:25.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 18:51
  #968 (permalink)  
 
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employ high calibre management teams, who excel in operating airports for the masses, with the passenger in mind. – More than a little contrast to Luton then!
Worth remembering that there's only a certain amount you can do at Luton to enhance the passenger experience. Unlike Spain, there just isn't the space.

The previous management wouldn't have deliberately toned down the passenger experience; it certainly wouldn't be in their interest, definitely not financially to have people stuck in queues constantly.

On AENA, I'm cautious because of their links to the Spanish government. Do they have the capital to invest in the airport on top of their home market? There does seem to be a hell of a lot of wastage at some Spanish airports, even at the main entry points. And obviously their relationship with the airport's main operators is crucial, especially with the amount of competition at London's airports - again, unlike Spain. Alienate them and suffer.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 18:53
  #969 (permalink)  
 
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I think grass is a nice indicator of how an airport is either neglected or run with pride.

Go to any Spanish airport and you will see nice manicured watered lawns around the public approach roads. Now have a close look at Luton. The first view most arriving car passengers see of Luton is the Ibis roundabout with grass that looks like straw and weeds around 3ft long.

On AENA, I'm cautious because of their links to the Spanish government. Do they have the capital to invest in the airport on top of their home market?
Don't forget the 49% that is owned by AXA. They have plenty of money.

Last edited by LTNman; 31st Jul 2013 at 05:00.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 12:31
  #970 (permalink)  
 
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Don't forget the 49% that is owned by AXA. They have plenty of money.
Are you sure?

According to the Article I quoted before, AENA already own 10% and the other 90% is owned by Abertis.

Sale of Luton airport expected to be confirmed - www.travelweekly.co.uk
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 16:21
  #971 (permalink)  
 
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I think 49% of AENA itself is privately owned but not sure how much AXA own share wise, I suspect usual pension/insurance/investment funds.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 17:16
  #972 (permalink)  
 
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UPDATE 1-Abertis in talks to sell Luton Airport to AENA | Reuters

AENA, with a current 10 percent stake in Luton, is teaming up with AXA Private Equity of France to buy Abertis's 90 percent stake, a source familiar with the talks said on Monday.

Analysts have said AENA may want to expand its assets ahead of a government plan to privatise a minority stake in the holding company, but its heavy debt pile - 15 billion euros in 2011 - means that it needs a financial partner for such a bid.

AENA operates 50 Spanish airports, including Madrid's Barajas and Barcelona's El Prat, while AXA PE has assets of $32 billion managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia, including a wide infrastructure portfolio.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 17:39
  #973 (permalink)  
 
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... so to answer my question from last night: AENA are potless.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 18:14
  #974 (permalink)  
 
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What on Earth is happening at Luton this winter on Tuesday's and Wednesdays? There better be some serious changes to EasyJet's schedule in particular. I've never seen anything like it!

Tuesday is the worst day of the two and this is what Luton's departure board looks like on Tuesday's in January as it currently stands!

DEPARTURES
FR331 06:30 Dublin
FR3882 06:40 Malta
EZY2151 06:45 Amsterdam
TOM5290 07:00 Tenerife-South
ZB846 07:00 Alicante
FR3456 07:05 Beziers
EZY2431 07:10 Paris-Charles de Gaulle
FR3506 07:20 Marrakech
W68002 07:25 Vilnius
W62066 07:30 Lublin
EZY181 07:35 Belfast-International
ZB896 08:00 Tenerife-South
EZY2053 08:05 Geneva
W61902 08:10 Poznan
W61002 08:15 Katowice
W61302 08:20 Warsaw-Chopin
W62202 08:20 Budapest
W63002 08:30 Bucharest-Henri Coanda
W63502 08:30 Timisoara
W63302 08:35 Cluj Napoca
EZY063 08:40 Glasgow-International
EZY2015 08:40 Faro
EZY011 08:45 Edinburgh
EZY2083 09:00 Tel Aviv
FR8142 09:45 Knock
FR842 11:50 Kerry
EZY2203 12:10 Madrid
W66001 12:50 Kiev-Zhulyany
FR3513 13:45 Tenerife-South
W63754 14:10 Craiova
EZY2143 14:15 Berlin-Schonefeld
W61306 14:25 Warsaw-Chopin
W62206 14:25 Budapest
FR337 14:40 Dublin
W61602 14:55 Gdansk
EZY2439 15:00 Paris-Charles de Gaulle
EZY2159 15:20 Amsterdam
FR3768 15:55 Barcelona-Girona
W62902 16:05 Ljubljana
0B232 16:20 Bacau
EZY2267 17:10 Barcelona
EZY069 17:15 Glasgow-International
FR341 17:50 Dublin
EZY017 18:10 Edinburgh
EZY2067 18:30 Geneva
EZY2175 18:30 Dortmund
EZY185 19:00 Belfast-International
EZY019 20:00 Edinburgh
W61610 20:25 Gdansk
W61310 20:30 Warsaw-Chopin
W62210 20:30 Budapest
W61010 20:45 Katowice
EZY073 20:55 Glasgow-International
W62602 21:25 Prague
W64302 21:30 Sofia


I know mid week in January probably has the least demand in the whole year but this is shockingly low! There is a huge contrast in the number of flights on certain days. Here there is only 55 departures, on Monday's for instance there's between 80 and 90.

As It currently stands there is more Wizzair than EasyJet flights on both Tuesday's and Wednesday's in January!

If this is really how it turns out, it's not very encouraging to the new owner!!!
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 06:24
  #975 (permalink)  
 
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Reuters reporting Abertis has sold its stake in Luton airport, to the consortium of Aena/Axa for 502m euros.(£433m)

Last edited by Powerjet1; 1st Aug 2013 at 06:27.
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 09:11
  #976 (permalink)  
 
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Also reported now in WSJ
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 10:16
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Quote..

Jose Manuel Vargas, Aena’s executive chairman, said: “We aim to substantially build up London Luton in consultation with all its stakeholders.


Couldn't really say anything else could he
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 10:17
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Subject to approval though....

abertis agrees to sell London Luton Airport to a consortium headed by Aena - abertis
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 10:38
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Approval should be little more than a rubber stamp now. If Aena and Abertis have any sense there will have already been verbal discussions with relevant Govt bodies before a public announcement was made.
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 13:35
  #980 (permalink)  
 
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And a little money towards some road schemes in the area...

£14.7m released for ?vital? road plans - Business News - Luton Today
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