BA bags bmi

BRITISH Airways is set to buy rival bmi from Lufthansa at a reported £300 million (US$480 million).

Bmi sells belly capacity cargo on 28 aircraft with three on order.

Virgin Atlantic, BA’s main competitor on US routes, has raised concern over unfair competition and BA’s widening share at Heathrow (UK). If International Airlines Group, owner of BA and Iberia, secures the takeover it will increase its share of Heathrow take-off and landing slots from about 45 per cent to more than 53 per cent.

IAG and Lufthansa hope for the deal to be finalised early next year subject to regulatory clearance and likely investigation calls from Virgin.

“British Airways’ hold over Heathrow is already too dominant and we are very concerned – as the competition authorities should also be – that BA’s purchase of BMI would be disastrous for consumer choice and competition,” Virgin said in a statement. “With the government limiting growth at London Heathrow, they cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the deterioration of competition that would result.”

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