29 JUNE 2009
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BMI, the former British Midland Airways, will effectively become part of Lufthansa on Wednesday 1 July, the finale of what was sometimes a saga started in 1999 when the German carrier agreed to purchase the Donington-based airline. An out-of-court settlement has been made to pay Sir Michael Bishop (technically BBW Partnership Ltd), a total of UKP223m (E265m) for the BBW stake of 50% plus one share in the UK carrier. bmi’s remaining minority shareholder, SAS, has indicated that it is interested in selling its 20% interest to Lufthansa. bmi holds around 11% of the Heathrow slots, not as valuable as they have been in the past. A sale of its low cost arm bmi baby is thought very likely as is a major reappraisal (and reduction) of the main line operations. Integration should not prove a problem, both carriers now happily together in Heathrow T1. Marketing and route selection might prove more interesting. www.flybmi.com
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