Job cuts loom at airports group

AIRPORTS operator BAA confirmed yesterday that it was considering job cuts as part of an “efficiency review” - but denied that frontline security or customer service staff would be affected.

AIRPORTS operator BAA confirmed yesterday that it was considering job cuts as part of an “efficiency review” - but denied that frontline security or customer service staff would be affected.

BAA, which already faces criticism from airlines and passengers over the length of queues at some of its terminals, insisted that the review was restricted to “back office” functions.

The group's statement followed media reports that around 2,000 job cuts were planned, with most departments likely to be affected and each of its seven airports - including Stansted - being ordered to review their costs.

However, a spokeswomen for BAA - which was taken over by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial in a multibillion pound deal in June last year - said yesterday: “We do not recognise the figure of 2,000.


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“BAA has been undertaking an efficiency review for several months of which staff are well aware. The review does not involve security or customer services staff at our airports but covers back office functions.

“No conclusions have yet been reached and the review is ongoing. BAA is committed to ensuring excellent security and customer service at every one of its airports.”

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The spokeswoman also denied a report that BAA was considering the sale of one or more of its sites, adding: “Significant investment plans for improving facilities across our airports remain in place.”

BAA, which owns the three main London airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, plus Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen in Scotland, and Southampton, is currently the subject of an investigation by the Competition Commission.

Part of the inquiry concerns whether the common ownership of the airports is reducing the incentive for BAA to invest in improved facilities, with some airlines having called for the group to be forced to sell off one of its London operations to increase competition.

BAA blames the delays on a lack of capacity in terminals and on runways.

n Air Berlin is to end its service between Stansted and Belfast from the end of October.

The airline, which introduced the service about 18 months ago, currently operates two return flights a day on weekdays and a one return flight at weekends.

The withdrawal of the route is understood to be the result of increased operating costs. The last flights will operate on October 29.

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