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No bonus for Heathrow head

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

No bonus for Heathrow head

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London (CNN) — The chief executive of British airport operator BAA, which is responsible for London’s Heathrow, says he will not be taking his bonus for 2010 following the travel chaos caused by heavy snow.
Colin Matthews said: “I am focusing 100 percent on passengers, we haven’t got everyone home yet, there is still a backlog.” He refused to comment on the size of the bonus he has declined.
“I do not want to talk about my renumeration. I will be foregoing my bonus for the calendar year 2010,” he said. When questioned about a rumored “secret bonus” based on profits, Matthews said: “There is no secret bonus.”
BAA would not discuss its bonus schemes but last year Matthews’ salary and bonuses totalled £944,000 ($1.45 million), according to the British Press Association.
Asked how Heathrow will respond to the crisis, he said: “It is clear that we will need to buy new equipment… and purchase that as quickly as possible. What has caught us out is the intensity of the snow.”
His comments came as tens of thousands of stranded passengers across Europe were finally starting their Christmas holidays Wednesday after airport and rail operators made the most of a clear weather spell and began addressing a huge backlog.
Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe and one of the hubs most affected by winter weather, opened its second runway Tuesday evening and said it was operating at between 70% and 80% of capacity today.
However, around 400 flights have been canceled. Travelers were advised to check with their airlines before traveling to the airport.