The nationalised Glasgow Prestwick Airport has agreed a two-year pay deal with staff following what executives described as a "fifth consecutive year of improving results".

The announcement by the operator, one of Ayrshire's largest employers, comes after the majority of employees represented by the Unite and Prospect trade unions gave their backing to the agreement. All staff will receive at least a 6 per cent increase and the Real Living Wage of £10.90 per hour as a minimum.

There will also be an additional one-off payment of between £1,000 and £1,250 to help with the cost-of-living crisis. Next year will see a further 4% increase along with a boost to employer pension contributions.

The announcement came after Unite said earlier this month that the majority of its 80-plus members at Prestwick had agreed to accept a package of improvements to pay and conditions worth up to 18% for some workers. Unite represents employees working as airport security, firefighters, airfield operators, ground handling and cargo crew, customer service, and cleaners.

READ MORE: Prestwick Airport needs taxpayer millions to remain in existence

The pay deal was backed by 88% of staff from Unite and 94% of those represented by Prospect.

Noting that the airport made an operating profit in the latest financial year to March 2022, Glasgow Prestwick chief executive Ian Forgie said: “Over the last five years we have been steadily growing as a business supported by our dedicated staff, and I am pleased that we have been able to agree this two-year pay deal.

“We will continue to unlock the airport’s potential by investing in facilities and our staff, as we progress a number of opportunities to deliver steady growth."

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is part of TS Prestwick Holdco, which includes the airport operations and a separate investment property subsidiary.

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Latest group accounts for the year to the end of March 2022 show that the holding company generated revenues of £35 million, up from £18.9 million in the previous year when the industry was hit by Covid lockdowns. In the year immediately prior to the pandemic, the group posted revenues of £36m.

Prior to exceptional items, TS Prestwick made an operating profit of £1.9m last year boosted by the property portfolio which brought in £2.5m of revenue from charging rent for retailing, office space, engineering and maintenance service providers located at the airport. 

Glasgow Prestwick Airport, the airfield operations subsidiary, accounted for £32.3m of revenues in the latest financial year and generated a pre-exceptional operating profit of £400,000. However, this fell to a pre-tax loss of £700,000 after taking account of £1.1m in interest payments on £43.4m of loans from the Scottish Government paid via Transport Scotland at the time the airport was nationalised in 2013.

The facility was taken into public ownership in November of that year after being purchased by the Scottish Government for £1. It was acquired from New Zealand's Infratil after incurring annual losses of £2m.

READ MORE: Minister says state-owned Prestwick Airport is still for sale

The Scottish Government had been trying to sell the airport but a preferred bidder pulled out of negotiations in May 2021. Ministers then re-engaged with the second-placed bidder, but “various concerns” were identified and it was not pursued further.

The accounts for TS Prestwick note that although "it remains Ministers’ long-term intention to return Prestwick Airport to the private sector", they have decided not to proceed with a sale "at this time".

"The group retains the confidence and strong support of our shareholder and the board will continue to focus on a strategy of growth going forward, investing in assets and taking opportunities based on its strengths and flexibility," it said.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport had 260 employees as of March 2022, and is estimated to support a further 1,700 jobs through its supplier network.