The boss of Heathrow’s biggest customer, British Airways, only discovered that building the airport’s planned third runway would require the demolition of his airline’s head office after looking at a map.

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA’s parent company IAG, claimed that despite the group being responsible for about half of all flights at the London hub, he received no formal warning of the proposed demolition.

He said: “We were never actually informed or advised by Heathrow that they intended to knock down our headquarters.”

26 thoughts on “Ahahahahahahaha”

  1. Priceless!

    Anybody that has been in and around Heathrow must know that vast amounts of buildings (including the BA one) will have to go…

    I guess it was all okay when it was just the tiny village of Sipson…?

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    I bet they are not too upset. They got a Heathrow expansion. If the government had opted for Boris Island they would not be able to commute from the Cotswalds.

    Having a limited airport on the wrong side of London is a small price to pay not to live in Kent.

  3. What happened to the idea of building the 3rd runway as an extensión of the second with the relevant security distance between the landers and the take-offers?

    I admit my ignorance but it seemed much cheaper, involved much less demolition and moving of people and the noise footprint affected less built up areas??

    Solve Willy’s problem too, probably.

    Tim N. You aren’t half naughty, you! Poor union convenors and time wasters. What on earth have they done to upset you? 🙂

  4. http://www.cityunslicker.co.uk/2015/07/another-hidden-reason-why-ba-would-liek.html
    “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. “

  5. anon

    So our Willy’s a con artist and billsh***er extraordinaire.

    No real surprise.

    He must be rubbing his hands with glee.

  6. Dear Willie

    When checking out direction of travel or examining my current location I sometimes refer to what I call a “map”. And when I find a road drawn on right over the top of my house I take a second look and become faintly interested. Yes, I find out a little bit about it before I start to make public pronouncements about it.

    But then I’m not the head of a multinational airline group responsible for delivering people to the right place all around the world.

  7. Poor union convenors and time wasters. What on earth have they done to upset you?

    Condemned me to look at wrinkly, haggard old battleaxes on long-haul flights instead of buxom things in their twenties.

  8. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer chap…

    Then I read anon’s piece – damn. Lesson – don’t underestimate gobby willy.

  9. Can’t they sublet parts of it to other airlines? Or indeed other companies in general?

    Ah, other sources tell me there’s not nearly enough parking on-site for the existing workforce, let alone for any newcomers.

  10. Willie Walsh used to be a pilot.

    Fvck me, miracle the cvnt never flew his plane into the side of a mountain given his ineptitude with visual reasoning and manipulation and spacial awareness.

  11. Tim N:

    Am busy booking flights to Greece this very day. Your timely comment reminded me to fly Aegean, as opposed to BA.

  12. We could have shorter runways just by using steam catapults and arrestor wires. It’s a wonder that this simple solution has not been adopted. D’ye think I could persuade Corbyn to espouse this notion?

  13. dearieme

    Why don’t we just shoot the passengers as they arrive at the airport?

    Don’t need more than a reception area, a rubber-walled room with a large hose and a drain in the middle and an incinerator with electricity generation.

    The Greens would be delighted. No new runway necessary, no aircraft pollution, extreme ‘recycling’ freeing up cemeteries and current runway space, cheap energy and an ever-reducing population. A smorgasbord of exciting things!

    They should name me Minister for Innovation

    Bet they would pay for the bullets!

  14. Not a smart move by Walsh if he really is faking. The CP cost is added to the regulatory capital of BAA, allowing them to raise their landing fees to cover the cost, 56% of which are currently paid by BA.

  15. bilbaoboy

    You are Michael O’Leary and I claim my £5.

    Though I must say I’m a bit surprised that you have blurted Ryanair’s new business plan all over the internet.

  16. dearieme,

    Catapults and arrestor wires require a beefed up air frame that adds weight and complexity to the planes. Unless every other airport in the world installs a similar system, for planes that require the extra kit, engines will have to be built to allow planes to take off without the kit. While we’d need an engineer for Boeing or Airbus to get the exact details I just don’t see how catapults are a good idea for ground based planes.

    In Pittsburgh what we’ve done is to simply move the airport to an area with more available land. Bettis Field was replaced with Allegheny County Airport which was replace with the old Pittsburgh International Airport which was replaced with the current Pittsburgh International Airport. I fully expect the future Pittsburgh Interplanetary Spaceport to be in a different location as well. If a business case can be made for the old airport it can remain open like Allegheny County Airport(built by the county without state or federal funds, member when we were rich enough to not need non-local money to build airports, roads, bridges, and tunnels?). If not then the land can be re-purposed like Bettis Field(Now home to Bettis Labs) or the old International Airport(Now home to the 911th airlift wing). Build in Kent and Kent will turn into a decent place to live like has happened in Moon and then Robinson.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    The main argument against catapults and arresters is that business and first class passengers would spill their G & T.

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