The acquisition of the bmi group of airlines by International Airlines Group will result in British Airways-liveried aircraft once again operating from Dublin and Belfast to London Heathrow, but could result in more than 2,000 job losses, writes Neil Steedman. The deal raises many questions – only a few of which have yet been answered.
After 20 years absence from Dublin and Shannon, and 10 years from Belfast, British Airways-liveried aircraft will, in about two months’ time, once again be flying from Dublin and Belfast to London Heathrow and the BD flight code of British Midland International will be no more.
For Irish travel agents and passengers, that will be the first prominent outcome of the acquisition of the bmi group of airlines from Lufthansa by BA-parent International Airlines Group on Friday 20th April. The European Commission approved the acquisition on 30th March after IAG agreed to relinquish 14 daily slot pairs at London Heathrow, rather than the 10 originally proposed.
IAG, which also own’s Iberia, will gain an average of 42 daily slots at London Heathrow from the deal, excluding:
- • Seven daily slot pairs between Heathrow and Edinburgh and/or Aberdeen
- • Five daily slot pairs between Heathrow and Cairo, Moscow, Nice, Riyadh, Edinburgh and/or Aberdeen
- • Two Heathrow daily slot pairs will be leased to Transaero for use on flights to Moscow
- • Other airlines can apply for seats on the integrated BA/BMI short- and mid-haul network for transfer passengers, on normal commercial terms
For more on this story, see the April issue of Irish Travel Trade News.