Losses almost double at Prestwick Airport

Prestwick Airport has suffered more major losses in the latest financial year with pre-tax losses almost doubling.

New accounts filed with Companies House show that pre-tax losses up to March 2015 rose to £8.9m up from£4.6m in the previous financial year.

The accounts also show that the airport, which was bought by the Scottish Government for £1 in 2013 has seen its taxpayer bailout rise from £4.5m to £10.8m.

The Scottish Government have also admitted that “additional loan funding” beyond that may be needed in order to keep the airport running.

Directors warned that they would face another challenging financial year due to falls in income from passenger volume.

The airport’s main supporting airline Ryanair has transferred many of its operations from Prestwick to its new hub at Glasgow Airport.

Underlying losses which give a measure of how well a company is trading also rose to £4.1m, a rise of £200,000 from last year.

However, the report did insist there were some positives for the airport with Prestwick in the running to become the UK’s first spaceport location in 2018 and the airport may well benefit from the Scottish Parliament getting powers to control air passenger duty.

Chief executive Iain Cochrane said:”The airport continues to work to turn around the financial performance and there are promising signs in a number of areas, though growing the passenger business remains a challenge whilst air passenger duty exists at its current level.

“The airport is a frontrunner in the process to become the first designated UK spaceport and is continually looking for opportunities to maximise both income and the broad scope and opportunity offered as a strategic national asset.”