Telegraph: Virgin to appeal bmi sale to British Airways

Posted: April 14, 2012 in Airlines, Aviation & Airports (General News), Heathrow
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is to launch a legal appeal against the British Airways acquisition of bmi from Lufthansa and demand that BA give up more slots at Heathrow.

Sir Richard Branson says the BA-bmi deal will mean less competition at Heathrow and lead to higher fares for passengers.

Sir Richard Branson says the BA-bmi deal will mean less competition at Heathrow and lead to higher fares for passengers.

Writing in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Sir Richard says that the deal will mean less competition at Heathrow and would lead to higher fares for passengers.

“One of the key aims of competition regulation is to protect the consumer from monopoly situations where companies can set whatever prices they like and stop investing in their product,” Sir Richard said.

“In this situation the public suffers, the industry suffers and the country suffers.

“That is why Virgin Atlantic will appeal the decision by the European Commission to wave through BA’s merging with bmi in just 35 working days.

“I truly cannot believe this directive and we will challenge every aspect of this process that, if allowed to stand, will undoubtedly damage the British airline industry for years to come.”

International Airlines Group, which owns BA, sealed the £172.5m deal earlier this year. The EC gave the purchase the go-ahead despite complaints from Virgin.

The EC did demand that BA give up some of its slots at Heathrow, remedies which Sir Richard said did not go far enough.

“This is the last big exchange of UK flying slots – 8.5pc of Heathrow’s total number – leaving BA with 54pc of all take-off and landing rights at the world’s busiest airport, while leaving its nearest British rival, Virgin Atlantic, with only 3pc,” he said…..

Read the full story at The Daily telegraph….


By , Sunday Telegraph Business Editor
9:30PM BST 14 Apr 2012


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