The sale of British Airways base near Heathrow is under consideration as a part of a scheme to allow head office staff to split time between home and office working following the pandemic.
Property consultants have reportedly been engaged to evaluate a sale of the Waterside complex, home to 2,000 staff.
BA director of people Stuart Kennedy said in a memo to staff seen by the Financial Times: “Many of us are based at Waterside and it’s not clear of such a large office will play a part of our future.”
However, it is still “very early days” and a disposal was just one option under consideration.
The airline paid £200 million for the land and development of Waterside more than 20 years ago, but “one of the very few positive aspects” of the pandemic had been how effectively staff had adapted to working remotely, Kennedy added.
The office complex is likely to be demolished if Heathrow ever builds a third runway.
A shift towards hybrid working between home and office is likely to require less floor space.
The FT reported Kennedy as saying: “We’ll want to consider what the idea office layout for the future will be. Perhaps it’s less fixed desks and more casual meeting areas, and we need to consider colleague wellbeing as well.”
BA said in a statement: “The global pandemic has shown us that many of our colleagues enjoy working remotely and want to continue, and this has accelerated our approach to offering more agile and flexible ways of working.
“Our aim is to find a hybrid working model that suits our business, blending the best of office and remote working for our people.
“We’ve also re-structured our business to emerge from the crisis and are considering whether we still have the need for such a large headquarters building.”
The disclosure came after BA owner International Airlines Group revealed plans to raise €1 billion through two bond offerings to help “withstand a more prolonged downturn in air travel”.
BA has shed about 10,000 workers since the Covid crisis first grounded its fleet to leave a workforce of 30,000, many employed as flights and cabin crew, engineers and airport staff.
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