BA Lining Up to Buy BMI For Strangle Hold Over Heathrow

By Sam Gibbs on at

Good old British Airways looks like it's about to swallow-up one of its smaller, loss-making rivals, BMI, giving BA pretty much total control of Heathrow. BA's parent company IAG has agreed to buy BMI off Lufthansa for around £300 million.

Heathrow is the main hub for the UK and also one of the main hubs for Europe, with other British airports like Gatwick playing second fiddle. Buying up BMI, which holds nine per cent of the take-off and landing slots at LHR, pretty much gives BA dominant control over the airport with more than 53 per cent of flight slots.

As a frequent flyer I have to wonder what impact this will have on flights out of, and across, Britain. BMI ran a low-cost section called BMI Baby, which combined the service of a main airline with cheaper prices. Will BA keep this going for instance? Virgin Atlantic, BA's main rival in the UK, labelled the deal as 'disastrous for consumer choice and competition'. It's possible that we'll see the Competition Commission step in here. Let's hope that whatever happens flight costs are kept low; after all we're not made of money, and I'm guessing no one likes paying over the odds -- especially when you could be spending that cash on some awesome new gadgets to keep you entertained on your flight. [Reuters, The Guardian]

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