IAG considering BMIbaby shutdown

International Airlines Group (IAG) is considering shutting down BMIbaby by 10 September if a buyer is not found for the BMI subsidiary.

IAG acquired the carrier, as well as BMI Regional, as part of its £172.5 million ($279.1 million) purchase of BMI from Lufthansa in April. Previous attempts by both BMI and Lufthansa to sell the subsidiaries separately were unsuccessful.

“[BMIbaby] has continued to struggle financially, losing more than £100m in the last four years,” says Peter Simpson, BMI interim managing director, in a statement. “To help stem losses as quickly as possible and as a preliminary measure, we will be making reductions to BMIbaby’s flying programme from June.”

BMIbaby will end all flights to Belfast, flights between East Midlands and Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Geneva, Glasgow, Newquay, Nice and Paris, and those between Birmingham and Amsterdam and Knock on 11 June.

BALPA General Secretary, Jim McAuslan commented on the closure of bmibaby.

“This is bad news for jobs. BMI baby pilots are disappointed and frustrated that, even though there appears to be potential buyers, we are prevented from speaking with them to explore how we can contribute to developing a successful business plan.

“The frustration has now turned to anger following the news that other airlines have moved onto these bmi baby routes without any opportunity for existing staff to look at options and alternatives. BALPA’s priority is to protect jobs; and we will use whatever means we can to do so.”