Daily Management Review

British Airways Mulls Sale Of Its Headquarters Due To Homeworking Trend


British Airways Mulls Sale Of Its Headquarters Due To Homeworking Trend
British Airways feels that it may not need as much of office space as it currently possess because of the rising trend of working from home that got pace during the Covid-19 pandemic and hence the airline was considering selling off the building that houses it headquarters.
This news of the possible sale of the building was first published in the Financial Times and according to analysts, the sale could boost the finances of the company which has been severely hit by the pandemic crisis and the consequential drop in flights. Construction of the building which houses the headquarters of the company was completed in 1998 at a cost of 200 million pounds ($279 million).
Some of the largest companies of the United Kingdom have already started to make changes to their office footprints because of the shift to working from home over the last year during the pandemic.
Banking giant Lloyds has announced its plans of reducing its office space by 20 per cent within the next three years while another British banker HSBC has set a target of reducing its office space by about 40 per cent.
The BA complex, Waterside, is located close to the Heathrow Airport, west of London, and is also the headquarters of British Airways parent company, IAG.
Many of the company’s employees were actually enjoying working from home and the future policy of the company would most probably be a mixture of work from home and office working regiment, the British Airways said in a statement.
“We’ve re-structured our business to emerge from the crisis and are considering whether we still have the need for such a large headquarters building,” a spokesman said in a statement.
Over the last year, a number of cost cutting measures, including reducing its workforce by more than 10,000 employees, have been implemented by British Airways to tide over the pandemic. As a result the company currently has a staff strength of about 30,000 and most these employees are not office workers but comprise of pilots, cabin crew, engineers or airport staff.
In order to raise cash, the airline has also attempted to sell some of the famous works of art that it used to hang in its executive lounges.
Recently there were also reports of the British Airways-owner IAG planning to issue a bond to generate money to - about 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), to help it to survive if the slump in the airline industry because of the Covid-19 pandemic continues for longer than expected.
Following a year where there was almost no income because of severe travel restrictions due to the pandemic, airlines across the world is hoping for a summer travel reboot. However that recovery in the industry could be delayed because of a resurgence of Covid-19 infection in some countries as well as a slow roll out of Covid-19 vaccines in Europe.  
Waterside’s long-term future was already hanging in the balance as it would need to be demolished if the proposed expansion of Heathrow goes ahead.