French-based Vinci Airports has completed the purchase of a 50.01% stake in Gatwick Airport, making it the world’s second largest operator with 46 airports in 12 countries.
New York investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) will continue to manage the remaining 49.99% interest in Gatwick. The new partnership promises continued investment with a £1.1bn (US$1.4bn) capital investment program (CIP) set to deliver a range of improvements by 2023.
Thanks to Vinci’s global presence, Gatwick employees will have access to broader opportunities in international career development and in-house training. As the world’s most efficient single runway airport, Gatwick will also share best practice with Vinci Airports as the company continues to pursue its operational improvement strategy.
Sir David Higgins, Stewart Wingate and Nick Dunn will remain respectively chairman, CEO and chief financial officer (CFO) of the airport, and will be joined by Cédric Laurier, from Vinci Airports, as chief technical officer (CTO).
Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of Vinci Concessions and president of Vinci Airports, said, “Applying our joint skills will add significant value to both Vinci Airports and London Gatwick Airport and benefit all our stakeholders, notably airlines and passengers.
“Combining our expertise will further improve our operational excellence and sustain our shared vision of putting passengers’ satisfaction at the heart of everything we do.”
Wingate added, “Today is the start of a new chapter for Gatwick, with new owners and further investment enabling the airport to continue on its successful journey. The management team and I will remain focused on delivering exceptional service to our passengers and to developing longer-term plans to grow our airport.”
Since December 2009, Gatwick has grown passenger numbers from 32 million to more than 46 million in 2019, all the while aiming to be the UK’s most sustainable airport through its Decade of Change program.
Highlights include achieving Zero Waste to Landfill accreditation from the Carbon Trust, as well as becoming carbon neutral.
This has been supported by strong levels of investment in airport facilities, with more than £2bn (US$2.6bn) spent on improving Gatwick since 2009, including the world’s largest self-service bag drop in North Terminal, a brand-new Pier 1 and a state-of-the-art security area in both terminals.
The airport also continues to look to the future and recently consulted on its Draft Master Plan for the next 15 years, looking at how Gatwick could make best use of its existing infrastructure and, notably, its existing standby runway. The final master plan is due to be published later this year.