The demise of the UK’s Doncaster-Sheffield Airport must have set many municipal authorities’ nerves on edge. Now Southampton Airport on the English south coast says it will need to build back up quickly to at least 1.2 million passengers annually if it is to survive – while it will lose GBP4.5 million this year.

Southampton Airport’s operations director Steve Szalay said recently that the airport was likely to record a GBP4.5 million loss in 2022 (slightly down from an earlier estimate), when most other British airports are indicating that they anticipate an operating profit (if only a small one).

It must be said straight away that there is no suggestion that the same fate experienced by Doncaster-Sheffield Airport awaits Southampton, and indeed, the opportunities there are at least equal to the threats. Both its owners are extremely well capitalised.

But then again, so is Peel Holdings (British infrastructure and property investment business), and both Ferrovial and Macquarie have a propensity to offload airports, or their share in them, as well as to take them on.

Indeed, recently there have been suggestions that Ferrovial could give up part, or even all, of its majority equity in London Heathrow Airport, as highlighted in the recent CAPA report: Ferrovial to sell stake in London Heathrow? 

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