More bad news for BAA

BAA just can’t keep out of the news. You would have thought the airport operator was in deep enough hot water already.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

After all, it's had Competition Commission inspectors snooping around to see whether it unfairly monopolises British airports, and climate protestors supergluing themselves to its headquarters. Now there are reports that it plans to shed up to 2,000 jobs – and to sell off one of its airports, leading to claims that this will make conditions for passengers even worse than they already are. Quite an achievement when the outgoing chief exec of one of its airports (Tony Douglas of Heathrow) was recently claiming it is ‘held together by sticking plaster’.

BAA has played down this latest rumour, but it’s another in-flight meal in the lap for Ferrovial, the Spanish company that borrowed heavily to buy the British firm last year. Indeed, it’s hardly a great advert for selling such vital national assets as our international gateways to foreign owners, who may be more interested in short-term profits than actually sorting out the service.

This summer has already seen heavy criticism of the firm over torrid conditions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted – namely snaking queues and the depressing state of the terminals. EasyJet has described the plan to cut jobs as a ‘fast way of losing the few friends they have got left’. Can it actually get any worse? Watch this space…

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