BAA picks Maitland to mount rescue mission

Airports operator BAA has called in The Maitland Consultancy to restore the company's credibility following the security turmoil at its airports this summer.

BAA also wants the consultancy to help fight off proposals for it to be broken up, currently the subject of an Office of Fair Trading inquiry. It operates all three major London airports.

Chaos reigned at Heathrow in particular after the Government imposed tough security measures on 10 August in response to an alleged plot to blow up planes flying from London to the north Atlantic. British Airways CEO Willie Walsh blamed the subsequent disruption on BAA, accusing it of acting too slowly. The airline said the upheaval cost it £40m, while BAA suffered to the tune of around £13m.

‘We have hired Maitland to work with us on [our] corporate reputation', confirmed BAA director of corporate affairs Duncan Bonfield.

Maitland prevailed last week after a competitive pitch, with partner Philip Gawith leading the account. It is understood that the agency is likely to call on APCO to provide support on regulatory issues.

BAA has ceased working with Brunswick as a result of its purchase by Spanish group Ferrovial and delisting from the stock exchange. Brunswick also happens to handle financial comms for British Airways.

Bonfield has taken charge of BAA's comms following corporate and regulatory affairs director Ian Hargreaves' decision to step down.

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