Acquires British Midland Airways, Forecast Net 1,200 Layoffs
By Eddy Metcalf
April 15, 2012 - British Airways began consultation with
trade unions on proposals to integrate BMI mainline into
its operations at Heathrow. The acquisition of BMI by
British Airways’ owner, International Airlines Group
(IAG), was given regulatory approval from the European
Commission in late March.
BMI is losing more than £3m a week and, without this
acquisition, was facing closure with the potential loss
of all 2,700 UK based jobs. The consultation proposes
the full integration of BMI mainline into British
Airways securing approximately 1,500 jobs. The
integration proposals could result in up to 1,200
British Midland Airways Limited is an airline based at Donington Hall in Castle Donington in the United Kingdom, close to East Midlands Airport.
The airline flies to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia from its operational base at London Heathrow Airport, where it holds 11% of all take off and landing slots and operates over 2,000 flights a week. BMI was a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa.
secured under the proposals include the transfer to British
Airways of around 1,100 cabin crew, pilots and engineers based
at Heathrow. Up to 400 passenger services jobs would be secured
at Heathrow Terminal 1. The proposed UK layoffs consist
primarily of roles based at BMI’s head office at Castle
Donington and at regional airports. Formal talks will seek to
reduce the number and mitigate the impact of the proposed
layoffs, including the potential to offer vacancies within
British Airways at Heathrow.
Airways will also be working on potential job opportunities with
industry partners in the Midlands, such as Rolls-Royce, and will
look to create jobs at its engineering facility in Glasgow from
January 2014 when the contract for BMI aircraft heavy
maintenance work outside the UK expires.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “BMI is heavily loss making and is not a viable business as it stands today. Our proposals would secure around 1,500 jobs that would otherwise have been lost. As we look to restructure the business and restore profitability, job losses are deeply regrettable but inevitable. We will work with the unions to explore as many options as possible and are already working with industry partners.
is good news for our customers and will offer new destinations,
new routes and new schedules in due course. For customers with
BMI bookings to or from Heathrow this summer, it is business as
usual and customers can continue to book with confidence.”
As announced on
December 22 last year, Lufthansa is to take on BMI’s defined benefit
pension scheme before completion of the transaction, which is expected
to take place around April 20. This scheme has been closed and the terms
on which pensions will be retained will be agreed between Lufthansa and
the BMI pension trustees.
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