A further 800 airline jobs are at risk, it was revealed this week, as British Airways' parent IAG admitted that it is unlikely to find a buyer for loss-making Bmibaby and BMI Regional.
IAG acquired the two subsidiaries as part of its purchase of BMI from German flag carrier Lufthansa, which was conclude last week.
As part of the deal with IAG, Lufthansa had the option to sell Bmibaby and Regional separately, but as it failed to attract any interest IAG agreed to take the lot, but at a vastly reduced price.
A report in the Sunday Times suggest IAG could have paid as little as £20m - more than £150m less than the price originally agreed for the purchase of BMI - in order to take all three airlines off Lufthansa's hands.
IAG always said it was not interested in operating Bmibaby and Regional and that if a buyer could not be found it will close them down, and a report by the BBC today said it was now doubtful it will succeed.
It quotes IAG chief executive Willie Walsh saying he is not confident about a sale. "These are airlines that Lufthansa struggled to sell but we are going to make an effort to sell them," he told the BBC.
He went on to say that the company, which also owns Iberia, was "reviewing all options" and that talk of job losses was premature.
BA has admitted BMI's merger into BA will lead to the loss of up to 1,200 jobs, but that does not include jobs at Bmibaby or Regional.
Virgin Atlantic is appealing against the European Commission's approval of IAG's takeover of BMI.
By Linsey McNeill
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
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