Whilst Diamond Club members are probably sitting pretty and IAG has a bunch more slots, there are some big losers in the sale of British Midland International:
- Lufthansa. Oh dearie me. Lufthansa really bit off more than it can chew when it was forced to buy BMI from Sir Michael Bishop (and that’s silly of Lufthansa to agree to the push/pull sale agreement in the first place). Even though Lufthansa dumped cash into BMI, it failed to tackle the core problems that BMI had. So I’m sorry – no sympathy for Lufthansa from me. Whilst it tried bit of a turnaround, the strategy of flying to zones that had a civil war flaring up was… rather high risk.
- Virgin Group. Psst. Sir Richard Branson. Little hint. If you want to trump IAG and your mortal enemy British Airways… BE PREPARED TO SPEND MORE MONEY. With IAG winning the slots with money, I’m sorry Sir Richard Branson. I haven’t got time for your cry baby attitude here. You had the opportunity multiple times to come to a working relationship with BMI to create a second force and refused to take it every chance. So kindly CAN IT.
- BMI Baby – As BMI Baby was not sold, it’s now a IAG Liability. And IAG don’t want BMI Baby in any sense of the word. There are two options 1) Sell it at an epic loss or 2) Shut it down after the Summer Time table. I honestly feel for the staff involved, as they’ve done nothing wrong. About 470 people in different bases affected.
- BMI Regional – Same as above. We all know that British Airways has the moniker “London Airways” for a very good reason – it ignores the regional flying (preferring to give it to FlyBe and the rail network, subject to a few trunk routes into Heathrow or Gatwick). BMI Regional is sadly in the same boat as BMI Baby, and it doesn’t deserve to be as it’s one of the few bits of BMI that was making money. About 330 people are affected.
- Any BMI staff north of the M25. London Airways strikes again. BMI has a maintenance base at East Midlands Airport, as well as its main headquarters at Castle Donnington/Donnington Hall. These are sadly all surplus to requirements, and are under threat of redundancy.
- The other 1200 BMI members staff up for the cut. Sadly, we’re now at the “Synergy” phase of the merger where duplicate functions are removed and disposed – again mainly affecting the East Midlands area as opposed to London.
- And those with a BMI Pension may feel rather screwed too, with news of their Final Salary Pension scheme being shut, but underfunded after a one off payment by Lufthansa that will reduce the average BMI pension by 10%. Payments will also be capped depending on their age at retirement too. A lovely spiteful move there.
- One set of BMI Frequent Flyers that could well be disappointed are the LifeTime Golds (those who have retained BMI Gold over a non-stop period of 10 Years). No announcement has been made about the LifeTime Golds, which in itself isn’t a good sign
- And I almost forgot… Star Alliance who loose a hub presence (however small) in the United Kingdom, forcing Star to retreat to Europe….
Lots of losers all around it seems.
Later on – The Winners of this whole thing.. and BMI Gold, Silver or Blue Member? Your timetable for the next few weeks.
- IAG Takeover of BMI Complete – http://economyclassandbeyond.boardingarea.com/2012/04/20/iag-takeover-of-bmi-complete/
- BMI Sale complete – 1:1 Avios CONFIRMED, BA Lounge Access Granted, Status Match Too! http://economyclassandbeyond.boardingarea.com/2012/04/20/bmi-sale-complete-11-avios-confirmed-ba-lounge-access-granted/