Heathrow bans media from Glasgow Talks event

HEATHROW Airport has banned journalists from attending a public talk today by chief executive Colin Matthews which is being hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.
Colin Matthews speaking at Heathrow today. Picture: Dunning Design/TwitterColin Matthews speaking at Heathrow today. Picture: Dunning Design/Twitter
Colin Matthews speaking at Heathrow today. Picture: Dunning Design/Twitter

The move comes days after Scotland on Sunday revealed the owner of the world’s largest international airport is considering selling Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

Industry sources said Mr Matthews had hoped to focus on promoting the case for a third runway at Heathrow to the Glasgow business community, and did not want any distractions such as questions about the potential sell-off of the city’s airport.

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Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH), which owns the airports, has held talks with advisers with a view to seeking buyers.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said the Glasgow Talks event was a public event that was open to non-members to attend.

However, a spokeswoman for Heathrow Airport said: “It’s not a media event, it’s not a Press event. It’s an opportunity for Colin to have a chat with local businesses.”

Previous speakers at Glasgow Talks have included Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner IAG, and Stagecoach chairman Sir Brian Souter

The chamber described the events as a “monthly series of business seminars featuring influential guest speakers drawn from the business and political elite.

“The strategic influencers programme puts top business decision makers, leading politicians and key commentators in front of a business audience to outline key issues affecting their business or organisations.”

Ferrovial, a partner in HAH which has reduced its stake in Heathrow to 25 per cent since buying airport group BAA in 2006, is thought to be considering a deal to buy out the other shareholders in the other three remaining airports.

However, the planned takeover of Prestwick airport by the Scottish Government may add uncertainty to any sale of rival Glasgow until it is clear what impact the new ownership might have on it.