British Airways boss stunned to discover Heathrow’s third runway will demolish £200m HQ

  • The CEO of IAG, Willie Walsh, insists Heathrow never informed him
  • The sprawling Waterside building cost £200m to construct in 1998  
  • IAG, the parent company of British Airways, is Heathrow’s biggest client

The British Airways boss has discovered to his dismay that London Heathrow Airport’s third runway will lead to the demolition of his swanky headquarters.

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, BA’s parent company, only made the realization after consulting a map of the plans, insisting he was never told by Heathrow, which counts the airline as its biggest client. 

Furthermore, it appears that IAG will actually have to pay, in part, for the destruction of the £200 million Waterside structure – located in Harmondsworth – which has served as the company’s headquarters since 1998.


Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, has discovered to his dismay that Heathrow airport’s third runway will lead to the demolition of his swanky headquarters, pictured



Mr Walsh, left, only made the realization after consulting a map of the plans, insisting he was never told by Heathrow that Waterside, right, would be destroyed

Mr Walsh told The Guardian: ‘We were never actually informed or advised by Heathrow that they intended to knock down our headquarters.’

He claims he only made the discovery after studying the recently released Airport Commission report on the new runway.

The way airlines are charged means that effectively BA will be paying for its own office to be demolished. 

‘We can’t have a situation where I end up paying for the destruction of my own head office,’ Mr Walsh added.

A Heathrow spokesperson denied the claims, telling The Guardian: ‘British Airways has been consulted on the detail of our expansion plans throughout, including options for the relocation of Waterside ahead of the submission to the Airports Commission.’  

We can’t have a situation where I end up paying for the destruction of my own head office 
Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG 

The vast 115-hectare manmade park that hosts the HQ boasts facilities including a lake, restaurant, auditorium and its own Waitrose supermarket.

It is split into sections that are themed around different continents, with Cherry trees planted in the Asian area and Birch saplings in Europe’s section, among others.

Heathrow’s plan is to build a new 11,400ft runway around two miles north of the existing runways at an estimated cost of £17.6billion, set to open by 2026.

British Airways runs approximately half of all flights at Heathrow Airport, but the relationship between them has long been tense. 


British Airways runs approximately half of all flights at Heathrow Airport, pictured, but the relationship between them has long been tense

At the Airport Operators Association conference in London yesterday, Mr Walsh blasted the airport as being ‘fat, dumb and happy’ compared to other hubs which have a hard time encouraging airlines to use them.

Heathrow’s plans for a third runway have been in the works for nearly 50 years – and has proved controversial, particularly with environmentalists and local residents.

Despite being given the government go-ahead, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last month that the project was ‘undeliverable’ and ‘very likely will be stopped’.

MailOnline has contacted Heathrow Airport for comment. 







Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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