Ferrovial boosts growth of Bristol airport by adding airlines

Press releases

Bristol will increase air traffic by 30%, attaining its 2004 target in just one year, and is projected to handle 3.5 million travelers by 2003.

Ferrovial has enhanced the value of its investment as this new deal was not factored into the price it paid for the airport.

Destinations include Spanish cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Palma de Mallorca

Bristol Airport, owned by Ferrovial (through subsidiary Cintra) and Australia’s Macquarie bank, is to increase traffic by 30% in one year following an agreement under which budget airline GO, a British Airways subsidiary, will set up its second base of operations in Bristol. Accordingly, Ferrovial has enhanced the value of its investment in Bristol, the largest airport in south-west England, as this deal was not envisaged in the price paid to acquire the airport.

Starting in May, GO will provide regular services from Bristol Airport which will imply an increase of 670,000 passengers in the first year of operation. With this agreement, Bristol airport, which handled 2,124,000 passengers in 2000, expects to attain its traffic target for 2004 in just one year.

After a selection period of several months in which it narrowed a field of 160 airports to a short list of 5, GO has finally decided on Bristol as its second base of operations. GO will operate a minimum of three Boeing 737-300 (148-seat) aircraft out of Bristol and plans to increase this to five aircraft in 2003, meaning that Bristol will then be handling 3.5 million  travelers per year. GO will offer flights to Spanish cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Palma de Mallorca, as well as other destinations in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Founded by British Airways in 1998 to operate in the budget travel business, GO offers flights to 25 destinations, primarily in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. In 2000, GO carried more than 3 million passengers.

Bristol, the largest airport in southwest England

Ferrovial, in partnership with Macquarie Bank, acquired Bristol airport in January 2001 for 325 million euros (54 billion pesetas), making it the first Spanish company to win a tender to acquire an airport in Europe and raising to 12 the number of airports which it manages (through subsidiary Cintra).

Bristol is one of the regional airports that is closest to London and it has the advantage of being able to handle traffic demand that cannot use London’s airports because of congestion.

Ferrovial and Macquarie own the land, buildings and installations and operate all the services at Bristol airport, from aircraft operations, air traffic control, rescue and fire services, aircraft fuel supply, car parks and shopping. The airport has a new passenger terminal building which was opened in March 2000, with capacity for up to 5 million passengers, and it has one of the largest car parks of any British airport (over 7,000 parking spaces). At present, Bristol is improving its infrastructure by adding a new control tower.

This operation makes Ferrovial the largest Spanish company in the international airport management business in terms of both capital expenditure and revenues. Consolidation and growth are Ferrovial’s two main strategic lines of action in the airport management business it already manages 12 concessions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico and Chile, handling 14 million travelers per year.


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