One of my photos


September 2nd, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

I wonder if this is a good idea?  If BAA are forced to sell off one or two of their London airports, Virgin are interested in buying Gatwick as part of a consortium.

This whole airport sell-off business could have a big impact on the Crawley/Horsham/Horley area.  If BAA can’t keep all of their airports it is a dead certainty that Heathrow is the one they will keep, so what would happen to Gatwick if it was under new ownership?

For a start, expansion  would be higher up the agenda.  At the moment Gatwick is in competition with Heathrow but BAA/Ferrovial have Heathrow as their priority and concentrate on that.  I think that new owners would want Gatwick to compete more aggressively.  Whether that is a good or bad thing for anyone here really depends on whether their job depends on the airport and how close they live to it.

Any growth of Gatwick would have mixed impacts and be the cause of intense local debate but we would soon notice if there was any contraction of business there: the airport has a big impact on the economy of Crawley, but also in Horsham, Horley, East Grinstead and even places like Tonbridge, Croydon, Redhill and beyond would be affected.

But what if the new owners were Virgin, or a consortium containing Virgin?   Many airports have strategic alliances with airlines (Heathrow/BA, Gatwick/British Caledonian, Roissy/Air France) but are their cases of shared ownership anywhere?   It gives us something to speculate on now that the transfer window is closed.

One likely scenario could be the withdrawal of BA from Gatwick.  BA and Virgin have had what could charitably be called a bumpy relationship over the years.  You can imagine that Virgin would get priority over BA in all sorts of way and that, combined with BA not wanting their passengers to disembark into a terminal chock full of Virgin branding would make them inclined to transfer services to Heathrow.

Interesting times.

Tags: ·

No Comments so far ↓

Like the collective mind of the Daily Mail, comments are closed.