Airports under fire over 2,000 job cuts
BAA, the owner of Britain’s three biggest airports, is planning to cut up to 2,000 jobs, leading airlines to give warning that a lack of staff could result in even poorer service than passengers suffer already,The Times has learnt.
Ferrovial, the Spanish company that borrowed heavily to buy BAA last year, may be preparing to sell one or more of its airports. It has ordered each of its seven airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton – to conduct a rigorous review of costs and staffing levels.
Despite heavy criticism throughout the summer over standards at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, in particular concerning long delays at security and the shoddy state of terminals, the company is planning a significant cost-cutting programme to increase profits. Redundancies are planned in all departments except security, where the number of staff has risen recently in response to extra restrictions but is still insufficient to prevent the delays.
The cuts, which the company had hoped to keep secret until much later this year, will heighten concerns that Ferrovial is not focusing on the long-term interests of Britain’s key international gateways.