Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that the Ayrshire low-cost gateway would be taken in to public ownership in order to save thousands of jobs and a vital piece of strategic infrastructure.
The SNP won widespread cross-party agreement for the move - although city council leader Gordon Matheson demanded assurances that a nationalised Prestwick would not hurt privately-owned Glasgow Airport.
However, the big concern of city business and other leaders is ensuring Glasgow gets the help it needs to re-establish basic international routes to hubs such as Brussels and Frankfurt.
Prestwick - through Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair had provided links to such cities as Brussels and Frankfurt but the airline dropped them as passenger numbers fell.
Last week Ryanair also pulled its link to Beauvais in Normandy - for years Glasgow's only link to Paris and until recently one of just two services to the French capital.
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "Clearly Prestwick's rationalisation over the years has been fairly significant. We have lost a lot of routes from Prestwick year in, year out."
Mr Patrick and Mr Matheson have been lobbying hard for the Scottish Government to find a way to financially support new routes to Glasgow or Prestwick.
The Government had to drop a scheme because it broke European rules against such direct subsidies. But Mr Patrick would like to see backing for tourist promotions in potential destinations.
Mr Patrick said: "You don't need to give direct subsidy to airlines, which is the problem they keep quoting as being in breach of EU state aid. We were saying if we had targeted destinations that we feel we want to make progress, whether that is in the States or in Europe or for that matter in China, to what extent can we help to secure those routes by going in with robust marketing campaigns in those destinations.
Mr Patrick calls this "selling the inbound". His point: that many services from both Glasgow and Prestwick are aimed at "outbound" passengers, globe-trotting or sun-seeking Scots rather than foreigners who want to visit our city.
Edinburgh - which has been more successful in attracting inbound-type flights from the continent - has core routes to European hubs. Glasgow is only really served by regular flights to London's Heathrow with British Airways and Amsterdam's Schiphol. Getting such flights - which go more than once a day - is vital for the future of Glasgow Airport.
It recently won double-daily flights to Dubai with Emirates, a huge achievement, said Mr Patrick.
"We have seen some quite good news. Double daily Emirates and maintaining connections and a variety of destinations in the United States and expanding to new European connections such as Lufthansa to Dusseldorf.
"We recognise that Edinburgh had the stronger role in the shorter haul and Glasgow was long haul.
"That competition between two airports is now more fierce and our concern is we don't begin to see any extended trend that lets more long-haul flights come out of Edinburgh to the detriment of Glasgow."
Ms Sturgeon has said she does not expect Prestwick, once Scotland's long-haul gateway, to hurt any Scottish airport.
Glasgow Airport is understood to be watching developments carefully.
Prestwick has seen passenger numbers half since the financial crash with Ryanair, its own scheduled airline, more clearly focused on bucket-and-spade flights.
There has been some recent recovery in numbers but the airport continues to make a loss - of cash as well as routes.
Mr Matheson, who also chairs Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, stressed routes such as Paris remained priorities.
He said: "While the loss of any air service into Glasgow is disappointing, the city is well served from France with direct access from Paris Charles de Gaulle through daily flights operated by easyJet and Flybe. France represents the fourth largest international market for Glasgow with more than 33,000 trips made annually to the city by French visitors who generate more than £18million for the city's economy.
"Glasgow City Marketing Bureau works closely with Glasgow and Prestwick airports to strategically target new routes and additional capacity from key market territories.
"Earlier this year Lufthansa introduced a new service from Dusseldorf; providing a direct, daily flight to one of Europe's wealthiest regions, which has been warmly welcomed by the city's business community, and increasing access from Germany, our largest leisure tourism market.
"Additionally, Icelandair will increase its schedule between Glasgow and Reykjavik with the introduction of a fifth weekly service from April 2014, which is a major boost for the city ahead of the Commonwealth Games and will strengthen Glasgow's connections to Iceland and Icelandair's extensive list of North American destinations.
"Similarly, the introduction of Emirates' double-daily service from Dubai, which has been a huge success, has provided a significant boost to Glasgow's competitiveness and has been a major step forward in terms of forging greater business links and increasing visitor access from the likes of China, India and Australia.
"Having two flights out of Dubai arriving in the city everyday greatly increases Glasgow's global connectivity, particularly through Emirates' worldwide route network."