Lufthansa has completed the sale of its loss-making UK unit, bmi, to the International Airlines Group (IAG).
The deal was originally worth GBP172.5 million (US$276.7 million) but IAG has received a reduction in price for also taking on bmi Regional and bmibaby.
IAG has reluctantly taken on the two other carriers after a buyer could not be found for either. IAG has msde it clear it has no plans for either bmiRegional or bmibaby and is looking to ‘exit the business’ as soon as possible.
IAG, which includes British Airways and Iberia, was cleared to conclude the deal last month following an investigation by the European Commission. The probe did conclude however, that IAG would have to forfeit 14 of its coveted slots at London Heathrow, but IAG’s share of take off and landing slots will still grow to more than 50%, up from 43% before the takeover.
BA’s CEO, Keith Williams said that despite the takeover, it was business as usual for both bmi and BA.
“We plan to operate bmi’s Heathrow summer schedule and their flights remain available for sale through the GDS,” Williams said. “We are proposing to integrate bmi into British Airways, subject to the outcome of consultation with staff and unions, which began last week. We aim to make any transition as smooth as possible and we’ll keep customers up-to-date with our progress.”
IAG previously warned that the integration of bmi into IAG could lead to the loss of 1,200 jobs at regional UK airports.