View Full Version : BAA Ordered To Sell Airports

20th Aug 2008, 08:04
I bet Willy & MOL will be delighted this morning with the news that BAA have been ordered to sell off a couple of airports.
The port will be flowing today me thinks.

20th Aug 2008, 08:17
BBC NEWS | Business | BAA 'should sell three airports' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7571613.stm)

Why after all this time, has this reared its ugly head again, it works, its not perfect, but then again nothing is.
They say in the interest of competition. But who can afford to buy them, only another multinational conglomerate.
If its not :mad:, don't fix it. :yuk:

Airbus Unplugged
20th Aug 2008, 08:47
Because the BAA has been ripping off all its customers for years.

Because the BAA have a lamentable record on provision of facilities, maintenance, and investment which has made our airports a laughing stock.

Because international passengers would go out of their way if it meant that they can avoid using a British airport.

Because in six months of T5 it's already falling apart, and the short cuts taken in its construction are beginning to show up daily.

Because it's implementation of the security legislation has led to the wholesale persecution of crews and staff, long lines of disgruntled passengers and massive delays for the airlines.

Because the BAA are more interested in running shopping centres, and are more than happy to take advantage of their captives, and completely disinterested in investing in facilities for air operations - which is why they're meant to be there in the first place.

This day has been long coming. They will now reap what they have sown.:ok:

Juan Tugoh
20th Aug 2008, 08:49
Given the way BAA run LHR saying it is not f***ed and doesn't need fixing is a load of rubbish

20th Aug 2008, 09:19
If its not :mad:, don't fix it.
But it is :mad:, and, after far too long, it looks lke we may be getting round to fixing it.

20th Aug 2008, 09:22
ArthurR makes a very valid point. I am not a fanboy for BAA, but as he says it will be another greedy multinational that will take over - will they be any better? Doubtful.

Look at some of the other airports round the country - some of them are absolutely appalling (BFS springs to mind immediately).

Any company who can buy an airport is only going to be interested in the bits that make profits, and will be completely uninterested in bits that cost money such as customer services (toilets etc)...

20th Aug 2008, 09:41
But the whole point of this is competition, not BAA's record on its (miss)running of our airports.

IF, another large foreign investment group takes over say Glasgow or Gatwick, then they MAY be as bad at running airports, but at least they will be COMPETEING against airports that were formerely all under the one umbrella of BAA and I know for sure airlines in these areas will play one airport of another for a better deal in airport costs and experience.

BAA should go run shopping centres, its clealry what they are most interested in ( or car parks ).

20th Aug 2008, 09:54
MOL, like him or loathe him, is of the opinion that BAA are a rapacious dragon squeezing money from captive punters, and he is right.
You only have to pass through the labrynthine maze that takes us to the departure gates to see the truth of this point. BAA are in it to make money from retailing, not to provide a service to airlines.
MOL would have you check in 30 minutes before departure, whizz through a sensible security screen and get on the aircraft and depart.
Now what is wrong with that? That is how it used to be at Blackbushe and Speke 45 years ago.
If he does buy STN, maybe we will see if he is true to his word!

20th Aug 2008, 10:01
MOL, like him or loathe him, is of the opinion that BAA are a rapacious dragon squeezing money from captive punters, and he is right.
You only have to pass through the labrynthine maze that takes us to the departure gates to see the truth of this point. BAA are in it to make money from retailing, not to provide a service to airlines.

Errr .. this is the same MOL that actually tells airports that they should not "tax" airlines (as in charge landing fees etc) for bringing them customers but should make their money from those customers instead :hmm:

But I do agree that the competition should improve service to all airport customers ... as long as the buyer is still able to raise the development funds as required.

20th Aug 2008, 10:04
Airports are a business. If it were not for the greedy airlines whining about costs continually the airports would not have had to find alternative sources of income.
It's the airlines that have let down the sector not the airports.
Airlines moan constantly about everyone. However if you continually cut costs you will eventually end up with a bad service.
Airlines blame everyone but themselves. If one of the London airports is sold of and comes into competition with another the only outcome will be more retail outlets to make up for the cuts in cost to the airlines.......
At the end of the day the Airlines have created a vicious circle....

20th Aug 2008, 10:14
Just have to hope that whoever buys them doesn't do it on the same highly geared basis that Ferrovial bought BAA in the first place. If they do, they'll focus all their efforts on cutting costs and raising charges in order to pay down the debt and there won't be a lead cent left to invest in new infrastructure. I don't suppose that BAA will insist that any sale be conditional on the purchaser making a minimum investment in infrastructural improvenments as it's in their interest that the purchasers do the opposite.

Mr Flaps
20th Aug 2008, 10:16
Having worked in 2 BAA airports Stansted and now Heathrow both from an airline perspective something needs to change.
If MAN Airport Group or another company comes in and buys STN or LGW brings them up to date with new facilities that improves the passenger experience and lowers the landing fees then you may see a shift from airlines at Heathrow that is slowly falling apart around us. But this is a big IF?

It has become clear that BAA managers should go and run the Trafford Centre and Bluewater.

LHR is a national disgrace, T1 is falling apart. Gate rooms that smell of damp because the roof leaks, air bridges that donít work. The catalogue of faults is endless, lifts that donít work, moving walk ways that are broken. A baggage system that has every passenger worrying about their bag till they see at the other end.

I am dreading flying from T5 is Sep. Why did I book the tickets?

20th Aug 2008, 10:18
I guess this won't solve the problem of other UK airports being underutilised and/or ignored completely; I wish I could get a reasonable price for flying to Cardiff or Bristol for example...

For some of us a trip to the UK means Heathrow and given how BAA treat "customers" there I do my best to avoid it (BAA take note - we hate your glorified shopping mall!). It is this absolute reliance on LHR that ******s people off too let alone the alleged competition amongst other airports....

...BAA sell Gatwick, Stanstead etc but keep Heathrow = no change

liquid sunshine
20th Aug 2008, 10:52
I believe too many people are too quick to knock BAA. If MAG were to buy one or more of the airports you are just moving the monopoly to another company and lets face it MAG record at MAN isn't exactly a role model on how to run an airport.

I would be suprised if whoever buys ex-BAA airports can match the levels of investment that BAA have put in over the years. Things will only go from bad to worse.

For those that knock the shopping malls etc where do you expect the airports, which have enormous operating costs, to make their money? Airlines basically want reduced landing fees, certain people seem to object to going through the shopping areas, thus the finances just won't stack up and you would see a reduction in investment and maintenance because the margins would be exceptionally tight.:ugh:

20th Aug 2008, 10:53
BAA has not been ordered to sell anything. If you look at the first line of that BBC News story, it says "BAA may have to sell..."

The Competition Commission has yet to announce the outcome of their findings, due next Spring.

We all know that the CC are going to tell BAA to sell some of their airports, but they could still get away with only selling one SE and one SCO airport.

20th Aug 2008, 10:58
Mr Flaps, T5 is not all that bad. I had two great trips through it in June, and it was not that bad. Just get through security early, IMO.

And, as others point out, it is not that BAA HAS to sell three airports, but the commission pointed out that it MAY HAVE TO. The commission said that BAA should not have to be allowed to keep both Glasgow and Edinburgh (i.e. should be made to sell one of the two), but the operative word is "should", which is not the same as "must". And in legalese the two are oceans apart.


20th Aug 2008, 11:17
In my humble opinion LHR IS VERY BAD. I live in Europe and travel frequently further afield - and I avoid LHR like the plague - despite being British. Just look at airports like Frankfurt, Amsterdam and even Paris. The 'security' screening in the Uk is a disgrace to the country.

Maybe competition will help - maybe. LHR is already in competition with other european airports and that has not helped so far.

20th Aug 2008, 11:34
Airbus unplugged your comment Because it's implementation of the security legislation has led to the wholesale persecution of crews and staff, long lines of disgruntled passengers and massive delays for the airlines.

Was the above not the result of government/DFT requirements?

I have seen many reports about long queues at security etc etc in recent months security queues have recently reduced including during the peak periods at STN airport.

STN had plans for a 2nd runway however local council rejected plans.

Yes there are a few problems at these airports however I dont believe that BAA are to blame in all of this I think the government should put it hands up tp some of BAA's failings

20th Aug 2008, 11:53
STN had plans for a 2nd runway however local council rejected plans.

and right there is one of the main reasons why we need more competition between the 3 london airports. Nobody wants a 2nd rwy at STN, not the local community (who would benefit by jobs and property values), not the airlines (i.e cutstomers of STN). Only BAA want the rwy because they own all 3 airports. Put all 3 airports in different ownership, then we get no vested interests as to where the new rwy will go.
BAA are crying crocodile tears anyway. Ferrovals highly geared business plan is so buggered up that they HAVE to sell one of them anyway, otherwise they will drown in their own self inflicted sea of debt. They should be welcoming this report as it means they can sell some assets without admiting that they couldn't write a basic business plan.

Airbus Unplugged
20th Aug 2008, 18:16

Our people come to agreements with the DfT. The DfT issue directions to the BAA Security Manager. He makes up his own mind, uses his 'discretion' to apply 'further measures' as he sees fit, over and above any direction from the DfT.

In other words, he ignores the government, makes up his own mind, and continues to make life all but impossible for crews. He can change his mind once a week, or every day if he chooses. The supervisor can make up a special rule for the hell of it. the BAA manager will unquestionably back his staff. Any dissent is met with agressive counter force, and any transgressors prosecuted.

They are to all intents and purposes, above the law.

Richard Taylor
20th Aug 2008, 19:58
Why is this in Jetblast? :confused:

20th Aug 2008, 20:47
What does competition mean to me?

It means that I can fly to the same destination from a choice of airports and choose the best value.

So if another company buys one of the airports will this happen?

It certainly won't make my two weeks in the sun any cheaper.

5th Sep 2008, 23:02
I actually have some sympathy for Ferrovial. They were passed a smoking gun.

When the BAA of old owned everything it was never considered a monopoly. Also bear in mind that many offshore BAA interests have already been disposed of by the new owners.

Meanwhile, if we look at monopolies, take a look at Fraport right in the middle of Europe and it's ever increasing global presence with various JV's and management presences worldwide.

To believe that the issues at UK airports are the result of the new owners is 'passing the parcel'. I would not be surprised if Jebel Ali in the UAE has two more runways built from scratch before we see just a third at LHR. Terminal 3 at Beijing is absolutely stunning. The success list goes on and on. It is about political will. That 'will' in the UK has been postponing decisions about LHR for over 20 years.

So now we have a problem. Break up the group. Make MAG the new UK monopoly and see where we end up. For regional airports I would agree with that plan but this is about the unique geography of the south east of the UK. We can argue the location, but overall I think we will all agree that investment is required in the London airports. Breaking up the revenue pool can only slow the development of the new infrastructure we need.

I have also been in a queue at LHR going nuts, and Frankfurt, and Amsterdam, and Paris too. The worst airport in Europe I find consistently is Frankfurt. The reasons are the same as LHR. It is creaking at the seams. A close second is LHR. I have to be honest. Manchester is not the best experience either and there is no proof they can deal with what Gatwick will throw at them if they are successful with the bid.

To conclude.

I don't work for Ferrovial, or BAA, or the press. It is Jet Blast and no more.