BAA brand bites the dust after firm renames itself Heathrow

Marion Dakers
AVIATION infrastructure group BAA is to ditch its name and rebrand its airports individually.

BAA was known as the British Airports Authority in the 1960s, when it took over responsibility for airports from the Ministry of Defence. But the firm has been owned by Spanish-listed Ferrovial since 2006 and in recent years has been forced to sell off several assets including Glasgow and Stansted due to competition concerns.

The slimmed-down company said yesterday that the BAA name no longer fits its operations.

“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,” said BAA boss Colin Matthews, who will become the chief executive of Heathrow under the plans. The bosses of the other airports will remain in post.

The firm added that it will no longer publish quarterly financial results for airports other than Heathrow, as they are not funded by publicly-traded debt.

“Dropping the BAA name marks a symbolic break with the company of the past,” Matthews said.

Bids for Stansted are due in next week. Following this disposal, the company will be made up of Heathrow, Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports.