TUESDAY 16 OCT 2012 9:49 AM


The British Airports Authority empire is to be broken up into its constituent brands as a reflection of the direction the company has taken in recent years. BAA, which owns Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports, will devolve its operations to allow each airport to function independently of the BAA brand.

BAA also owns Stansted, which is to be sold off in early 2013 following sales of Budapest and Naples airports. Heathrow Airport will now operate under its own brand, as will the BAA’s other constituent airports.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, says, “The BAA name no longer fits. We do not represent all British airports. We are not a public authority and, practically speaking, the company is no longer a group, as Heathrow will account for more than 95 per cent of the business.”

Dropping the BAA brand after nearly 50 years is a reflection of the independent nature of the airports it owns. Each is seen to be a stand-alone brand and BAA no longer sees itself as a group. Heathrow Airport is pleased with the decision as it seeks to promote the successful Olympic period.

"Dropping the BAA name marks a symbolic break with the company of the past,” Matthews adds. “We want Heathrow's focus to be on its customers, to continue to improve its operational performance and to carry on investing billions of pounds in new passenger facilities.”