BAA chief executive Colin Matthews has defended the operator against claims it is a monopoly.
He was speaking after last week’s decision by the Competition Commission to force it to sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh.
This decision was hailed by Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary who accused BAA of profiteering at Stansted to fund its Heathrow operations.
But speaking in The Sunday Times Matthews said airlines are powerful and have a choice of where they want to operate from.
He cited easyJet’s move from Stansted to Southend, suggesting this showed that BAA does not operate in a monopolistic way.
“We love Ryanair. But they are also very powerful as they have a choice. They can make requirements and move if we don’t meet them. Does that sound like a monopoly?” Matthews said.
Although BAA could demand a judicial review of the Competition Commission’s decision, Matthews does not indicate if that is in the operator’s thinking.
However The Sunday Times suggests Matthews is more keen to concentrate on running its remaining airports than fighting the decision.
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