Aviation/Slimmed-down airports group BAA drops its name

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The Independent Online

After more than two decades of trying to stop people believing its initials stood for British Airports Authority, BAA, operator of Heathrow, has dumped its name.

In what it called "a symbolic break with the company of the past", the group formerly known as BAA said yesterday that Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Southampton and Stansted airports will be known under their own brands – easing the takeover process at Stansted, which is for sale.

"We are a different company today from when BAA was formed," the chief executive, Colin Matthews, said. "Over the past few years we have sold our stakes in Gatwick, Edinburgh, Budapest and Naples airports, and we are in the process of selling Stansted. The BAA name no longer fits.We do not represent all British airports; we are not a public authority; and, practically speaking, the company is no longer a group as Heathrow will account for more than 95 per cent of the business."

Mr Matthews will remain chief executive with control over all the airports, not just Heathrow.

"We are starting the process of replacing the BAA name with each individual airport brand," the company added. "We will continue to publish quarterly financial results for airports financed with publicly traded debt. After the sale of Stansted these results will therefore focus solely on Heathrow airport."

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