The IAG purchase of BMI and its subsidiaries BmiBaby and BMI Regional concluded last week. A report in the Sunday Times said that it could have paid as little as £20m, over £150m less than the originally agreed price to buy only BMI in order to take the two loss-making airlines off Lufthansa’s hands.
IAG said it was not interested in operating Bmibaby and Regional and intended to sell them, however it now seems unlikely to find a buyer for either so may have to close them down, putting around 800 airline jobs at risk.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh told the BBC that the company is reviewing all options, so talk of job losses was premature.
“These are airlines that Lufthansa struggled to sell but we are going to make an effort to sell them,” he told the BBC.
Virgin Atlantic is appealing against the European Commission’s approval of IAG’s takeover of BMI.