According to the Echo:
LONDON City Airport could pay up to ?100million to take over Southend Airport.
Bosses at the east London terminal are the first to confirm their bid to run Southend Airport, pledging to develop business and passenger flights if their proposal is accepted.
Current airport operator, Regional Airports, put its 99-year lease from Southend Council up for sale last month, in a sealed bid auction which is expected to raise in the region of ?100million.
Rupa Haria, spokeswoman for London City, said: “I can confirm London City Airport has put forward a bid to take over Southend…..
The Independent covers the story in more depth:
London City airport has made a surprise bid in the ?100m auction of rival Southend airport.
The sale is taking place amid a civil war in the aviation industry, with airlines, unions and politicians fighting over whether the airport holdings of the market-leading operator BAA should be broken up.
City’s bid was unexpected, as its management had thought the airport’s core business passenger base would not want to go to Southend in Essex.
However, Richard Gooding, City airport’s chief executive, said: “There is a shortage of airports in the South-east, and Southend therefore presents an opportunity.”
A source close to Regional Airports, Southend’s owner, insisted that City was one of the more logical suitors, given that the two airports are within an hour’s train journey of each other. City has been backed by its owners, AIG, the insurance giant, and Global Infrastructure Partners, a joint venture between GE Infrastructure and Credit Suisse.
More than 40 parties were sent information memorandums on Southend last month. Dawnay Day, the owner of Oxford airport; Cognetas, the private equity group; and Macquarie, the Australian bank, are all thought to be interested…..
The Independent has also previously highlighted the global impact of more and more flights:
Cheap flights. More flights. Multiplying routes. At the end of a week that has seen protests against airport expansion, predictions of further airport chaos, and record oil prices, British travellers are showing no sign of shaking off their addiction to CO2-heavy cheap flights…..
….The spring of 2008 is likely to prove the most dramatic in Britain’s aviation history. Even before the summer schedules, a dozen new routes are being launched ? starting at 8.30am today with the maiden flight of Flywatch from Southend to Le Touquet in northern France…..