Ferrovial’s proposed takeover of BAA has been accepted by the BAA board and bmi have been quick to respond to the news.Nigel Turner, chief executive officer of bmi, said: “As the BAA’s
second-largest customer, bmi will be eager to learn about any new
owner’s plans. We look forward to working with them and feel sure they
will take our views fully into account. We must have assurances that any
new owner will be committed to the redevelopment of the central area at
Heathrow. This will ensure bmi and our customers are able to benefit
from facilities of the same high standard that will be enjoyed in
terminal five by our main competitor British Airways.
“There is only one set of interests against which any successful bid for
BAA should be judged, and that is those of the passengers who travel
through many of Britain’s busiest airports.
“If a premium is being paid, as some commentators have suggested, we
must have safeguards to ensure passengers do not end up paying for that
premium through higher charges. On the contrary, we would hope to see a
reduction in charges, given the operational efficiencies that Ferrovial
believes it can bring.
“Regulators must take a rigid stand and use any change in ownership as
an opportunity to review some critical questions about the strategic
importance of the UK’s airports. Effective monopolies in London and in
Scotland are not healthy for the consumer and airlines alike. Divestment
of interests in Scottish airports is long overdue. Now must be the time
to look at all of these ownership issues.
“Competition amongst airlines has been of tremendous benefit to
travellers yet this same healthy competition has been desperately
lacking between the major airports of the UK.”