Heathrow Airport – formerly known as BAA – is selling Stansted Airport to the owner of Manchester Airport for £1.5bn.
Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly called BAA, will continue to own Heathrow, Southampton, Aberdeen, and Glasgow airports.
The sale was forced by a ruling by the Competition Commission, and is due to be completed next month.
Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “Stansted Airport and its people have been part of our company for a long time. It has been named by passengers as ‘the world’s best airport for low-cost airlines’ for two consecutive years at the Skytrax World Airport Awards, and we are proud of its achievements. We wish the new owners every success and are confident the airport will continue to flourish. We will continue to focus on improving Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports”.
Manchester Airports Group owns Manchester Airport – the UK’s third busiest – and is itself owned by the 10 borough councils of Greater Manchester.
Sources suggest Stansted will now seek expansion through the Davies Review.