Belfast Telegraph

Rigby Group snaps up Bournemouth Airport for undisclosed sum

Its adds to a portfolio that already includes Norwich, Exeter and Coventry Airports.

Rigby Group has snapped up Bournemouth Airport from Manchester Airports Group for an undisclosed sum, helping raise its profile in the south.

Bournemouth Airport – which currently offers flights to 22 European locations – serves as a base for Ryanair and TUI, and handled 700,000 passengers in 2016.

Rigby Group said the takeover helps boost its position as a “highly credible alternative to the major London Airports.”

It adds to a portfolio that already includes Norwich, Exeter and Coventry Airports, alongside contracts to operate Solent, City of Derry and Blackpool airports.

Founder and chairman Sir Peter Rigby said the acquisition was an “important landmark” in the group’s strategy.

“Not only does it expand our catchment to include the major regions of South England, but also focuses operations on a core market poorly serviced by the major aviation players.”

Rigby says it plans to grow both commercial and passenger activity at Bournemouth Airport by leveraging its own “scale, contacts, and expertise to power continued progression” – having itself served 1.7 million passengers in the year to March.

Manchester Airports Group chief executive Charlie Cornish assured that the facilities – which Rigby said “supports” the equivalent of 900 full time jobs – were in good hands.

“RCA has a detailed integration plan in place to ensure a seamless transition of ownership and operations at Bournemouth which will maintain business as usual for passengers and customers,” he said.

“We wish the new owners every success and are confident that the airport will continue to flourish as we continue to focus on improving Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports.”

It is the latest UK airport deal to take place this autumn, following the takeover of Leeds Bradford Airport by Australian investment management firm AMP Capital in October.

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