British Airways Spokeswoman Says No Decision Has Been Made

Article excerpt

While there's talk that British Airways may have settled on Jacksonville for a 300-job reservations center, the company said no decision has been made.

"We have not made a final decision," said Jennifer Hudson, vice president of communications for British Airways for Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The international passenger airline confirmed in June that Jacksonville was on the short list for the center, which could consolidate the U.S. reservations functions now in New York and Houston. There has been industry speculation that the company might have settled on Butler Plaza at Southpoint, one of the sites rumored to be of interest in June.

British Airways is based at London Heathrow Airport.

Butler Plaza is a Liberty Property Trust development at Interstate 95 and Butler Boulevard. Liberty executives in Jacksonville were out of town at a corporate meeting and could not be reached for comment.

Another site of speculation was Butler Pointe, also in the Southpoint area near Butler Plaza. Brad Chrischilles, an agent for Butler Pointe for British Airways, said, "We haven't had discussions with them for a while."

We were told that British Airways would need about 50,000 square feet of space.

Bob Olson, real estate development manager at the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, said yesterday that he had heard nothing new lately and that he did not think the lease had been signed yet.

Olson said that merger talks between British Airways Plc and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines NV are "top on their list" of business considerations.

Several sources said the site had been chosen, but the lease had not been signed. There's some speculation that the center had been scheduled for a first-quarter occupancy.

In June, Hudson said Jacksonville leaders "are working hard to get other businesses there." She also said that British Airways had a relationship with Precision Response Corp. …