Air Transport World

Ulster a-rousing: management/employee buyout of Belfast International gets a lift from the peace process and an increase in tourism. (Northern Ireland)(Airports & Airways)

Management/employee buyout of Belfast International gets a lift from the peace process and an increase in tourism

BELFAST-- Managements of other U.K. and mainland Europe airports are watching the performance of the international airport here closely, in the wake of a recent management/ employee buyout, certainly the first in the U.K., and believed to be the first of its kind in Europe.

Although there was some skepticism, early indications are that the move is proving successful, with the new company, Belfast International Airport Holdings Ltd., reporting pretax profits of 2.08 million pounds ($3.12 million) for its first year and bidding for Belfast City airport, the downtown facility 17 mi. away, owned by Bombardier, the Canadian aerospace group, which wants to sell.

The buyout came at the right time for the management and employees who invested between 650 pounds and 6,000 pounds apiece for 300,000 pounds in all, with the peace process--aimed at bringing an end to decades of bombings, shootings and other violence in the province and the rest of Britain--beginning at much the same time between the governments of the U. …

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