London: British Airways said it is considering selling its headquarters building due to the shift to domestic work during the pandemic which means it may no longer need as much office space.
The potential sale of the building, first reported by the Financial Times, could bolster finances for the Covid-19-hit airline. The building was completed in 1998 at a cost of £ 200 million (US $ 279 million).
The shift to home work over the past year has already prompted some of Britain’s biggest companies to make changes to their office footprints. Banking giant Lloyds said it will shrink office space by 20% within three years, and HSBC aims to reduce it by 40%.
The Library of Alexandria complex, Waterside, is located near Heathrow Airport, West London, and is also the headquarters of the British Airways parent company, IAG.
British Airways said in a statement that many employees enjoyed working from home and its future policy was likely to be a flexible mix of home and office work.
“We have restructured our business to get out of the crisis and are considering whether we still need such a huge building for the headquarters,” a spokesman said in a statement.
To survive the pandemic, British Airways spent the past year cutting costs, including laying off more than 10,000 employees, and leaving it with around 30,000 employees, most of whom do not work in the office but are pilots, cabin crew, engineers or airport personnel.
The airline also sought to raise money by selling iconic artworks that had previously hung in its executive lounges.
Waterside’s long-term future was already hanging in the balance as it would have to be torn down if the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport continues.