Friday, 3 July 2015

The hidden reason why BA would like Heathrow expansion even more than you think

Further to the post yesterday about the UK airport choice, one of the biggest supporters of Heathrow is British Airways (well, its parent company the boringly named International Airlines Group).

BA's HQ is at the Waterside building, pictured above. It is a epic paean to corporate excess. A huge sprawling building, never really filled with staff and built at a cost of £200 million in 1998. It has a long hall, shops, etc. A very nice place to work and absolutely no re-sale value whatsoever. BA has tried to put it in its Pension scheme over the years amongst other things. But a building with no real re-sale value (what other business would want a 100,000 suare foot between the M25 and the Runway at Heathrow?) it has become an albatross trapping BA in an office to big to leave and costly to maintain.

But lo, a new runway would mean the demolishing of this building and of course, a compulsory purchase order for Waterside. No doubt, being a CP, the price would be something astronomical, after all if it cost £200 million in 1998 with the rise in commercial property values surely now it would be £500m or more. Of course, BA has not far from here and also scheduled fro demolition its staff hub for the aircrews and engineers - all of this would have to go too. All at CP prices.

Thus as part of a new runway programme BA will be subsidised directly by the taxpayer to move and re-build a big chunk of its estate. Either saving them a fortune or resulting in a free upgrade of the estate that would be a huge benefit.

This over and above the massive benefit of a hub being built at their home airport anyway. No wonder Willie Walsh is so keen on Heathrow expansion.


Blue Eyes said...

Modern waterfront offices, with on-site retail, and excellent transport links? BE Estates could easily find suitable tenants.

Anonymous said...

very interesting. Who has corporate HQ at Gatwick ?

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - Virgin Atlantic...wonder who they back eh? Think their offceis maybe just a lease though.

BE - BA have tried forever to get rid of this dog, they need the office space but it is very high cost. You could get rid of it, but only at a big discount.

Bill Quango MP said...

They must have been stuffed with cash when the built it. There is loads of 'corporate headquarters' office space in and around Heathrow.
A lot of it on the river or lake too.

Timbo614 said...

I worked for Scandinavian Airlines for a while and if you want corporate excess...

SAS Headquarters

I worked in this building on and off for about a year. The pictures don't really do it justice.

Anonymous said...

How many spelling mistakes and gramatical errors in the subject post, pathetic!!! Call yourself a journalist...? Educate yourself!

Anonymous said...

Grammatical** my whole point entirely for those that missed it...!?!

Electro-Kevin said...

Anon - I blame Shirley Williams and her awful skools.

Bill Quango MP said...

Those Scandinavians know how to live.
Many steam baths in the place Timbo ?

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