BAA is set to announce whether it will sell Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport after the UK Competition Commission (CC) ordered it to begin the process of divesting one of its Scottish airports before selling Stansted.
In July the CC ordered the airport operator to immediately sell Stansted and then one of its Scottish airports, but in light of BAA's decision to appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) against the sale of its London gateway but not the others, it was reversing the order of the sales to prevent further delay.
"We feel this is the best approach in view of the further delay caused to the Stansted sale by this second appeal,” Laura Carstensen, chairman of the BAA Remedies Implementation Group and a member of the original CC inquiry group said.
It is frustrating that we cannot proceed with the Stansted disposal until this new challenge from BAA has been dealt with but in the meantime we will press ahead with the Scottish sale and as a result passengers and airlines in Scotland will enjoy the benefits of greater competition even sooner than they would have done otherwise.”
"We have concluded that there is no reason why they should have to wait for the end of this new attempt by BAA to delay the implementation of our remedies, particularly as thew sale has already been delayed by the original legal proceedings in 2009."
BAA welcomed the decision, but said it would continue to seek a judicial review of the sale of Stansted.
"We are pleased that the Competition Commission has accepted BAA's proposal to reverse the order of airport sales in its 2009 decision and 2011 decision," said Colin Matthews, CEO of BAA.
“We believe the South East airports market has changed and BAA has changed since the Competition Commission’s 2009 decision. It is also clearer now than it has ever been that Heathrow and Stansted serve different markets,” he added.
BAA sold Gatwick Airport in 2009 for €1.65 billion.