Ryanair has withdrawn from the race to buy London Stansted, after being told that the airport’s owner, Ferrovial, the majority shareholder in BAA, would exclude the airline from the sale process.
The Irish low-cost carrier had been in talks with potential investors about taking a 25% share in Stansted.
But in light of Ferrovial’s stance, Ryanair said it did not “wish to prejudice” other investors.
Ryanair has now written to all potential investors with which it had held discussions, to tell them it is no longer seeking advise a minority stake in Stansted.
Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for the airline, said: “We regret Ferrovial’s decision to exclude Ryanair from the Stansted sale process.”
Ryanair said it was now looking forward to discussing cost reductions and traffic growth with Stansted’s new owners, once the airport is sold.
BAA announced it would sell Stansted in August, following a lengthy legal battle to hold onto the airport.
The UK Competition Commission ruled BAA should sell three of its seven airports in 2009.
It completed the sale of Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in April this year.
GIP bought Gatwick Airport in December 2009.
The UK Court of Appeal rejected BAA’s appeal against the sale of Stansted in July 2012, and the following month, BAA said it was giving up its fight to keep the airport.