November 14, 2008

EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic Join Hands for Gatwick Bid

EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic plan to form a consortium for a GBP2.5 billion bid for Gatwick airport. Though the companies will not contribute monetarily to the bid they are expected to guarantee long-term revenue.

The two airlines are said to be in talks with financial investors to form the consortium.

Many companies including the Manchester Airport Group, Hochtief of Germany and Australia's Macquarie company are also interested in bidding for Gatwick and have started to form consortiums. However, the consortiums that join the auction process are expected to be thoroughly vetted by the Competition Commission to ensure that Gatwick's new owner will have the necessary financial resources to invest in the airport's infrastructure.

Gatwick's auction is expected to begin in December 2008 by the Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC, which are handling the sale of Gatwick. However, the auction process is believed to conclude by late 2009 because of the commission's vetting process.