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Airport operator BAA to drop name

British Airports Authority set to brand airports separately.

After nearly 50 years, BAA has decided to change its name.
The Spanish-owned company announced today that its four remaining airports – Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Southampton – would operate solely under their own stand-alone brands.
The BAA website domain will be also scrapped and its services redirected to each airport’s own websites.

The decision comes after the BAA was forced to sell its stakes in Stansted, Gatwick and Edinburgh airports following an investigation into airport competition by the Competition Commission.
The ruling left BAA with just four airports, compared to the seven company had run prior to the investigation.

“We are a different company today from when BAA was formed”, said Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews."

“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."

The re-branding comes after Heathrow’s successful handling of the Olympics Games earlier this summer. In the past, Heathrow faced regular criticism over delays, queues and operational issues, but the logistical success of the Olympics has provided a solid platform for BAA to revamp its image.

“Dropping the BAA name marks a symbolic break with the company of the past”, Matthews said.

“The Olympics and Paralympics showed the UK and Heathrow at their best, delivering a welcome of which the UK could be proud of. Now we have to build on that welcome still further, providing a better experience to our customers every single day”.

Alex Ward is a London-based freelance journalist who has previously worked for the Times & the Press Association. Twitter: @alexward3000