Scottish Government-owned Glasgow Prestwick Airport, managed by TS Prestwick Holdco Ltd, has reported a steady operating profit for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2023.

The Airport’s strategic report sheds light on the specifics.

Amidst global challenges, including the direct impacts of Brexit and stringent regulations from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Airport not only adapted to maintain operations but also significantly increased its passenger numbers from the prior year.

The strategic report lauds the Airport’s adaptability, which has been instrumental in achieving an operating profit of £2.1 million, marking a continuation of its positive financial trajectory despite the economic pressures faced across the industry.

In the financial year 2022/23, Glasgow Prestwick Airport saw a substantial increase in its key performance statistics compared to the previous years. Total movements rose to 20.1 thousand, a significant jump from 19.2 thousand in 21/22 and 14.6 thousand in 20/21. The number of passengers using the airport experienced a dramatic surge, reaching 459 thousand, compared to just 118 thousand and 47 thousand in the preceding two years, respectively.

Total freight handled by the airport slightly decreased to 13 thousand metric tonnes, down from 18 thousand in 21/22 but consistent with the 20/21 figures. Fuel volumes sold also increased to 44 million litres, up from 36 million in the previous year and 19 million two years prior. Financially, the airport reported a revenue of £58.1 million, a considerable increase from £35.0 million in 21/22 and £18.9 million in 20/21.

The operating profit before exceptional items was £2.1 million, up from £1.9 million the year before and significantly higher than the £0.5 million reported in 20/21. After accounting for financial expenses and other factors, the total profit for the year stood at £0.8 million, which, while lower than the previous year’s £1.2 million, marks a significant achievement considering the global economic challenges.

The report underscores that “the Airport demonstrated its key strength in offering a diverse range of services to different markets and returned a steady operating profit in challenging conditions.” Despite initial challenges from Brexit and tightening Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations, impacting the UK labor supply, the Airport effectively adapted. The report notes they “adapt[ed] and recruit[ed], avoiding passenger queues and delays,” leading to an increase in passenger numbers from the previous year.

A key element of Prestwick’s strategy involves its relationship with Ryanair. As stated in the report, they have “agreed new terms with the carrier for another 5 years.” This partnership is crucial for Prestwick, as it remains a vital base for Ryanair, especially for its Aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Facility, employing over 500 engineers.

The report also addresses changes in cargo volumes, which declined from the 2021/22 peak. Nonetheless, the Airport is focusing on growth in specific areas, with the report mentioning that they are “investing in equipment and new facilities to meet demand” in niche product lines such as “aircraft engines and oil & gas equipment to horses and refrigerated products cargo.

Glasgow Prestwick Airbase – Package holidays and NATO jets

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has influenced the Airport’s operations. The report highlights:

“We continue to provide excellent service to our military customers with most NATO nations using our airfield and facilities, most notably the RAF, USAF and the Royal Canadian Air Force, which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary of a connection with Prestwick, now firmly established at the Airport.

The Airport has a reputation for hosting and supporting key events and in recent months we supported a NATO exercise in Germany and this a credit to our staff who delivered excellent service. With the ongoing war in Ukraine we expect this activity to continue and we will invest in facilities to support our military customers.”

Regarding environmental sustainability, the Airport has made significant strides. The report reveals that since 2018, the Airport has “reduced its Scope 1 emissions by 52% and…Scope 2 emissions by 22%.” Plans include becoming self-sufficient in electricity within three years and supporting the transition to sustainable aviation fuel, in partnership with BP.

Despite the challenges of rising inflation and interest rates, the Airport achieved an operating profit of £2.1 million. The report concludes with optimism about the Airport’s future, expressing gratitude to its customers and employees for their “passion and commitment.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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4 days ago

Another great success of the SNP government. 😀

It’s silly enough central Scotland has two much less 3 airports.

Last edited 4 days ago by Jim
monkey spanker
monkey spanker
4 days ago

Glad the airport is surviving. It’s useful having Prestwick as it’s a good divert airport, long runways, quiet enough with enough room for military flights anytime, has railway links and decent road links.
For most travellers they will go from Edinburgh or Glasgow but Prestwick is still useful.

4 days ago

I’m surprised the first minister of Gaza allowed this to happen.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Come on Gaza is much nicer than prestwick😂😂😂

4 days ago

In commercial aviation, the jet engine maintenance repair and overhaul is a fundamental capability not niche, but well done Prestwick it can’t be easy. Change in a safety critical industry is never easy.

Last edited 3 days ago by lonpfrb