UK’s flagship carrier airline, British Airways (BA), has said it was considering selling its headquarters building because the adoption of working remotely from home during the Covid-19 pandemic means it may not have a need for so much office space.
The potential sale of the office complex, completed in 1998 at a cost of 200 million pounds ($279 million) and first reported by the Financial Times, is expected to boost the airline’s finances which have been heavily impacted by Covid-19.
According to a report from Reuters, the shift to homeworking over the last year has already made some of Britain’s biggest companies reconsider their need for office spaces with banking giant Lloyds saying it would cut office space by 20% within 3 years and HSBC going for a 40% reduction.
The BA complex, Waterside, is near Heathrow Airport, west of London, and is also the headquarters of British Airways’ parent company, IAG.
British Airways said in a statement that many employees enjoyed working from home and its future policy would likely be a flexible mix of home and office working.
A spokesman for the airline in a statement said, “We’ve restructured our business to emerge from the crisis and are considering whether we still have the need for such a large headquarters building.’’
What you should know
It can be recalled that UK airlines, including British Airways, in March 2020 called for an immediate multibillion-pound emergency bailout from the British government due to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses.
In order to survive the impact of the pandemic, British Airways spent last year cutting costs, including shedding over 10,000 employees, leaving it with about 30,000, most of whom don’t work in the office but are pilots, cabin crew, engineers or airport staff.
The airline has also sought to raise cash by selling famous works of art that formerly hung in its executive lounges