London, UK – The IAM will be watching airport privatization developments closely at London’s Gatwick airport following the announcement that France’s Vinci (SGEF.PA) has purchased 50.1 per cent on the UK’s second busiest airport.
“The IAM has been steadfastly opposed to airport privatization in Canada and our position has not changed,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President. “We will be watching developments at Gatwick very closely.” Last spring, an anti-airport privatization campaign mounted by the IAM beat back an idea by the Trudeau government to privatize 18 of Canada’s largest airports to generate infrastructure revenue. “Anytime this issue crops up around the world, we take notice,” said Pickthall. “Airport privatization ultimately means reduced wages for airport workers and higher travel costs for passengers.”
The deal, worth $3.7 billion U.S. gives Vinci, which already runs 45 airports in 12 countries, access to the world’s largest metropolitan aviation market. The deal was made possible by the uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union next March which cut the price of buying into Gatwick.
The airport, located 48 kilometers south of London, serves 228 destinations in 74 countries and is a major base for British Airways. It operates the busiest single runway in the world with more than 39 flights per hour carrying over 46 million passengers per year.