Rigby Group Acquires Exeter Airport

Owner believes in the importance of regional airports

Rigby Group Plc has today announced the acquisition of Exeter International Airport from Balfour Beatty Plc for an undisclosed sum.

The airport assets of the group sit alongside the flying activities now consolidated under the ‘British International Helicopters’ name following the recent acquisition of this company and the divisionalisation of its other existing helicopter operating businesses. The whole now constitutes the largest British helicopter operating business, with divisions covering offshore and defence, utility, engineering, charter and flying training activities.


Chairman, Sir Peter Rigby, said:
“We believe in the importance of regional airports and of their value to the local and regional communities and of their important contribution and place in the local economies. We are intent on developing our aviation business, within the Rigby Group, and we have made a significant acquisition here, and recently with the acquisition of British International Helicopters, in the course of the last month or so. We now intend to consolidate both of these opportunities with a view to being a leading group in the sectors of regional airports and helicopter operations. Approximately 450 jobs are now sustained in our aerospace activities.”

Exeter Airport managing director Matt Roach said the sale was “a really positive development” for its employees and passengers.
“We have a new owner that believes in the success of the airport, and for staff this is really positive news. The Rigby Group have a passion for aviation so it’s a good partnership which will build on the existing strengths of the airport and further develop it in the future.”

Commenting today, Balfour Beatty Chief Executive, Andrew McNaughton, said: “We are pleased to have come to an arrangement … that ensures the future viability of the airport for its staff and the local community it serves.” Rigby Group Plc has today announced the acquisition of Exeter International Airport from Balfour Beatty Plc for an undisclosed sum.

Exeter International Airport is the principal aerial gateway to and from the south west of the UK. It has a long history and current sound levels of activity on passenger, freight and general aviation activities. It is the home of Flybe, an important hub for the airline and its maintenance base and aviation academy, and also an important base for Thomson, Thomas Cook, Skybus and others.

Responding for the Exeter-based airline Flybe, Andrew Strong, Flybe UK’s managing director said: “Flybe welcomes the sale of Exeter Airport to the Rigby Group PLC. We look forward to working with the new owners to develop services from Exeter and improving the passenger experience.”