1,200 jobs could go in bmi takeover
The £172.5 million takeover of bmi by the parent group of British Airways is set to lead to up to 1,200 job losses, the airline has announced.
BA opened consultations with unions on proposals to integrate the bmi business into its operations at Heathrow Airport after the acquisition was given regulatory approval by the European Commission last month.
Positions facing the axe are at bmi's head office at Castle Donington in Derbyshire and at regional airports, although BA said that, without the acquisition, all 2,700 jobs at bmi, which is losing £3 million a week, could have been lost. The jobs of 1,100 cabin crew, pilots and engineers at Heathrow and up to 400 passenger service roles at Heathrow's Terminal One have been secured.
Unions expressed dismay at the scale of the job cuts, saying they would try to mitigate the losses.
Under the takeover by BA's parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), which also includes Spanish carrier Iberia, IAG agreed to give up a number of bmi's take-off and landing slots at Heathrow, including routes to Nice, Cairo, Moscow and Edinburgh.
BA said it will 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.
BA chief executive Keith Williams 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.
"This deal 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."
Discussions with potential buyers for bmibaby and bmi Regional are continuing.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: "Bmi's future has been secured but we are very saddened at the scale of the job losses being proposed. Unite will be fighting to maintain as many jobs as possible and ensure that, where vacancies exist, people can be placed into suitable roles within BA."