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A full inquiry into airport closures and disruption is already underway by BAA's new non-executive director Sir David Begg. His report is not expected until the end of March and one of BAA's biggest customers, Virgin Atlantic, will not now be paying any airport fees before then, an amount said to be less than £10m.
Sir Richard Branson's airline blames the slow reaction of BAA to severe weather conditions, which cost aviation millions of pounds, and disrupted the travel plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers last month.
British Airways said the part-closure of UK airports cost it in excess of £50m. BAA said it would work with airlines during the Begg enquiry and that Heathrow's conditions during the snow did not provide any basis to withhold airport charges.
Theoretically BAA could impound Virgin Atlantic planes for non-payment of fees, though that is unlikely.
Joe Lynam, BBC News
Here is my quesiton. i don't know the meaning of the sentence in bold in this context. Although there is no words that i don't know, i cannot get the overall meaning of this sentence within the whole text. Please help me out.
A rough paraphrase of the part in bold:
BAA said that the conditions were not a justification for refusing to pay the fees.