The takeover of bmi by British Airways is set to lead to up to 1,200 job losses in Britain, the airline announced today.
BA started consulting unions on proposals to integrate the bmi business into its operations at Heathrow Airport after the acquisition was given regulatory approval from the European Commission last month.
BA said that without the acquisition, all 2,700 bmi jobs could have been lost.
The jobs facing the axe are at bmi’s head office at Castle Donington in Derbyshire and at regional airports.
Jobs secured include 1,100 cabin crew, pilots and engineers at Heathrow and up to 400 passenger service roles at Heathrow’s Terminal One.
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.
Keith Williams, BA’s 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.
“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.”
The acquisition of bmi mainline will give BA an additional 56 average daily slots at Heathrow, of which up to 14 will be available to other carriers. Retained slots will be used to expand BA’s operations at Heathrow with new destinations and more schedules.
Discussions with potential buyers for bmibaby and bmi Regional are continuing.
BA announced yesterday that hundreds of its workers at Gatwick Airport are set to lose their jobs or be transferred to another company under cost-saving plans.
The carrier said 400 ramp workers, including baggage handlers, will see their jobs outsourced, while 170 customer service staff and management support employees will be laid off under the proposals.
The £172.5m (€210m) takeover of bmi is by BA’s parent company International Airlines Group (IAG), which also includes Spanish carrier Iberia.