BAA chief to forego bonus amid snow chaos

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews has said he will voluntarily give up his 2010 bonus as Heathrow struggles to perform in the snow and ice.

BAA, which owns and runs Heathrow as well as others including Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Southampton, said his focus was on helping the thousands of passengers stranded in freezing conditions as flights have remained grounded for days.

Heathrow is now running about two thirds of its services but its second runway has been closed since the weekend after heavy snowfall on Saturday. Passengers hoping to fly home for Christmas and New Year have been left stranded and told not to travel to the airport.

“I have decided to give up my bonus for the current year. My focus is on getting people moving and rebuilding confidence in Heathrow,” Matthews said in a statement.

BAA has been criticised by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and others for being too slow to de-ice aircraft stands and clear the runway for flights when other European airports have been functioning better.

Matthews' salary and benefits were worth an estimated £994,000 last year. He has not disclosed how much his bonus was worth.