Air Transport World

Privatization problem.(EDITORIAL)

To get a sense of the excitement that the possibility of owning an airport is generating these days, consider that within the past six weeks, more than $6 billion was committed separately to purchase control of three of them. None of the airports--Budapest Ferihegy, Antalya Airport in Turkey and Leeds Airport in the UK--cracked ACI's Top 50 last year, but that didn't matter.

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Six billion dollars is a lot of money in the airline industry. In fact, in early May you could've taken it and made a pretty credible run at United Airlines, the world's third-largest carrier by RPKs, which had a market capitalization of around $3.9 billion at the time.

But of course United, like any airline, faces a wholly different business reality than your average airport. …

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