Things are not looking rosey for BMI Baby and BMI Regional at the moment.
The two subdivisions of BMI were meant to be sold off before the IAG takeover by Lufthansa, but they failed to be sold.
IAG is not interested in owning the two units who operate to very different markets – BMI Regional operating high value regional routes, whilst BMI Baby operates the low cost model from various hubs to locations in Europe.
Willie Walsh has stated he is “not confident” about selling them. He also said:
“These are airlines that Lufthansa struggled to sell but we are going to make an effort to sell them”
BMI Regional employs 330 and operates Embraer ERJ-135′s and ERJ-145′s, whilst BMI Baby employs 470 people, operating older Boeing 737-300′s and 737-500′s.
IAG has previously said that if it cannot sell the two units it will shut them down, but now says that it is reviewing all of its options and that talk of job losses would be premature.
There are people in the sidelines trying to grab a bargain – the BMI Regional folks are probably the ones most safest with Granite Aviation once again striking up talks for the purchase of the airline – if this comes to anything remains to be seen.
On the other hand, BMI Baby with its ageing fleet and comparability smaller presence, in a market dominated on one side by the big Low Cost Carriers Ryanair and EasyJet, whilst competing with Monarch and Jet2 on the charter has a much more difficult prospect ahead.
Good luck to all the staff involved.