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BAA May Be Forced To Sell One Or More Airports  
User currently offlineSmeg From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 159 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4188 times:

I did a check but surprisingly could not find anything on this so far!!!!


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BAA's ownership of seven UK airports "may not be serving well the interests of either airlines or passengers", the Competition Commission has said.

"Its report said that BAA, "dominates the airports markets in the south-east of England and in lowland Scotland".

BAA owns Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton and Aberdeen airports and may end up being forced to sell one or more of them. "
--------------

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7360046.stm




I wonder which one if any they would prefer to keep. Something tells me that Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted will not be on the top of their lists!!!!!

Maybe Southampton could be the one to go. (assuming that they are ever actually forced to sell any. Might be a load of hot air for all we know!!)

Something needs to be done in the UK, but will this actually help?

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFLVILLA From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 394 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4174 times:

Certainly agree something needs to be done, although I'm skeptical of what can actually be achieved in the long-term.

I could see short-term advantages such as just your average day-to-day operations, I'm sure new owners of somewhere like LGW would perhaps install some more security lanes at the south terminal (can be chaos in the mornings) but what about the long-term investment ?

Were still stuck with over-capacity either way, its not going to just disappear with new owners. So, if there is a sell off of some airports, I'd like to know what the plan with them is. If theres no plan, theres going to be no change in the Grande scheme.



I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
User currently offlineSmeg From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4146 times:



Quoting FLVILLA (Reply 1):

Were still stuck with over-capacity either way, its not going to just disappear with new owners. So, if there is a sell off of some airports, I'd like to know what the plan with them is. If theres no plan, theres going to be no change in the Grande scheme.

Agree with you 100% I am not sure that even with Gatwick and Heathrow being so close to each other, that competition will be possible. Even if there are new owners, I am not sure what they could do! Heathrows major problem is that it is working pretty much at 100% capacity at all times. Just because it may have a new owner does not mean that they can actually do anything with it!! I do not think that introducing "competition" between the airports is possible. As you say, they are in the mess that they are in, because of their respective over-capacities, rather than poor ownership! (although, the terrible handling of LHR by BAA does not help matters!!!!)


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4111 times:

Privatization without competition is like marriage to an inflatable doll. It may look good at first glance, but there is no substance. No entity should be permitted to own two airports within 200 kilometers of each other.

That LHR and LGW are operating at nominal capacity doesn't mean that service levels cannot be improved.


User currently offlineEI564 From Ireland, joined May 2007, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4004 times:



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 3):
That LHR and LGW are operating at nominal capacity doesn't mean that service levels cannot be improved.

They could be improved. But one has to do a cost benefit analysis. Would the cost of a real service level improvement lead to more profitable business. Considering how constrained both airports are, probably not. And then, why bother doing more than you have to?


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3040 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3980 times:



Quoting EI564 (Reply 4):
Would the cost of a real service level improvement lead to more profitable business. Considering how constrained both airports are, probably not. And then, why bother doing more than you have to?

That's a skewed way of looking at a cost analysis.

The keyword in air travel these days is Choice.

If your airfield's a dump, people will choose to go elsewhere. BAA are an excellent example where you see the number of connecting passengers from the UK regions increasing through oversees hubs and stagnant or decreasing through LHR/LGW.

Improvements to service are equally important for maintaining your customer base, especially in a free market when your customers perceive your competitors' shops next door to be better.

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineNighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5178 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3931 times:



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 3):
That LHR and LGW are operating at nominal capacity doesn't mean that service levels cannot be improved.

But without increasing flights, how is the airport going to pay for these services? Any company that buys out one of the airports, is going to be saddled with heavy debt and loan repayments. They will need to get as much profit out of the airport as possible to repay the loans, they cant bring in more revenue through more flights, as the airport is already near capacity - instead they will need to either find other ways of gaining revenue or slash costs.

That means more shops, more charges and less staff and services



That'll teach you
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3879 times:



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 6):
But without increasing flights, how is the airport going to pay for these services?

Monopolies -- even private monopolies -- are nearly always grossly inefficient. Competition forces efficiency.


User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3754 times:



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 5):
BAA are an excellent example where you see the number of connecting passengers from the UK regions increasing through oversees hubs and stagnant or decreasing through LHR/LGW.

But surely this is also a reflection of non-UK airlines increasing service to the regions from their respective hubs. For example, with BA having no desire to provide proper service to the regions (despite the erroronous claim to be the national airline), there is no other except BMI (and a minor presence of EI from BFS) to provide any type of feed to LHR, and that is only from ABZ, BHD, MME, EDI, GLA, LBA and MAN. LCC's do provide traffic to LGW, but almost irrelevant in this context unless you've got your onward flights departing from LGW.
Thus, the reasons for domestic pax 'avoiding' LHR is IMO more reflective of service, convenience and certainly ability as opposed to literally avoiding it.


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3040 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3734 times:

I see where you're coming from, but I don't think it has ever been BA's intention to cede all regional originating travel to its competitors by simply watching them increase their services.

BA, I perceive, are of the arrogance to believe that brand BA will carry them in the regions and that regional travellers will stay loyal to the brand, which must now include travel via LON.

If that is the case, coupled with the fact T5 has given LHR unprecedented bad publicity, they deserve to lose what is remaining of domestic feed through fortress LON, IMO.



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineFLVILLA From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 394 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3722 times:



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 8):
Thus, the reasons for domestic pax 'avoiding' LHR is IMO more reflective of service, convenience and certainly ability as opposed to literally avoiding it.

Agreed !!

I don't beleive that with competition between LGW and LHR I'm all of a sudden going to have a plethora of new travel choices. If airlines don't start service from LGW then were all still going to schlep to LHR regardless. Now of course it can be argued that LGW could make some very good 'deals' with airlines if they start services etc, but airlines have had this choice for years and if they still all choose LHR then thats what our choice is limited to.



I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6912 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3704 times:



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 3):
Privatization without competition is like marriage to an inflatable doll. It may look good at first glance, but there is no substance. No entity should be permitted to own two airports within 200 kilometers of each other.

LOL! But great analogy! Couldn't agree more.

The dynamics of LHR alone should demand that they divest one of the primary LON airports at the very least. As a STARTING point to break up the BAA chokehold.


User currently offlineFLVILLA From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 394 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3666 times:



Quoting Slider (Reply 11):
The dynamics of LHR alone should demand that they divest one of the primary LON airports at the very least. As a STARTING point to break up the BAA chokehold

I definitely don't want to defend BAA, I'm sure most of us have all experienced them in some way or another...good or bad (more bad though I'm sure). But the question still remains that if they're forced to divest one of their LON airports, we may only see improvements in the day-to-day running of things, but what about the long-term future ?

Is selling off LGW (for example) going to be better for the travelling public ?

This all ties in to a much bigger topic currently ongoing in the UK and our plans on the aviation sector long-term prospects.

My worry now is that the Government will force a sale just because well it looks like they did 'something' at least, rather than actually THINK about the situation.



I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
User currently offlineEI564 From Ireland, joined May 2007, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3546 times:



Quoting FLVILLA (Reply 12):
My worry now is that the Government will force a sale just because well it looks like they did 'something' at least, rather than actually THINK about the situation.

Great point. If it takes 15 years to build a terminal, it doesn't really matter who owns it. Or as another person said, whoever buys an airport will want to make money from it, thus higher charges, less service. They don't have to worry about losing much service because the nearby airports are all pretty full.

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 5):
Improvements to service are equally important for maintaining your customer base, especially in a free market when your customers perceive your competitors' shops next door to be better.

But because of the constraints, LGW wouldn't become a LHR, or STN wouldn't become a LGW. There just isn't the room.

The baa is an easy organisation to blame for the problems in London but its going to take a lot more work to fix those airports. Almost impossible really.


User currently offlineBA380841 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3522 times:

Hopefully the competiton commission will also force BAA to sell either GLA or EDI. Airline/route wise GLA has completely stagnated with no improvement in sight in fact i'd say GLA was going backwards. Competition between the two airports would hopefully mean some new routes at least.

User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3040 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3401 times:



Quoting EI564 (Reply 13):
But because of the constraints, LGW wouldn't become a LHR, or STN wouldn't become a LGW. There just isn't the room.

Have you seen the plans for STN? Did I ever say anything about LGW becomming LHR ? Since when did improving a facility necessitate expansion?

The baa is an easy organisation to blame for the problems in London but its going to take a lot more work to fix those airports. Almost impossible really.

Well, let's send a memo to BAA and tell them they may as well give up then  Yeah sure



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineLHRBlueSkies From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

Let's start a vote on which airport/s will get sold!

LHR -
LGW -
STN -
SOU -
EDI -
GLA -
ABZ -

My vote is LGW &/or ABZ...



flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3040 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3328 times:

Careful, you'll get the SNP on the bandwagon...Scots rule for Scots airports !!!


So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineLHRBlueSkies From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3325 times:



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 17):
Scots rule for Scots airports !!!

Along with English subsidies!!!



flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
User currently offlineSmeg From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3316 times:



Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 16):
My vote is LGW &/or ABZ...

I think SOU / GLA

I simply cannot see them getting rid of LHR, LGW, STN. (assuming that they actually have a choice in the matter!!!)


User currently offlineBA380841 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 11 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3311 times:



Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 16):
My vote is LGW &/or ABZ...

I agree with selling LGW but selling ABZ doesn't do anything what so ever about BAA having a monopoly in central Scotland. They should be forced to sell either GLA or EDI...and i really don't care for the SNP  Wink


User currently offlineEI564 From Ireland, joined May 2007, 373 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3293 times:



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 15):
Well, let's send a memo to BAA and tell them they may as well give up then

I'm sure some will say they already have.  Wink

I would have thought GLA's big problem is that FR is based in PIC. In other words, the presence of competition.


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