BRITISH Airways said yesterday 1,200 jobs were under threat as a result of plans to integrate the recently-purchased airline BMI into its Heathrow operations.
The Unite union said it was “very saddened at the scale of the job losses being proposed” as BA soaks up 42 of BMI’s lucrative landing slots at Britain’s busiest airport.
The brunt of the job cuts will be at BMI’s head office at Castle Donington and at regional airports.
BA said the integration plan for BMI, which is losing over £3m a week, would retain about 1,500 jobs, including around 1,100 cabin crew, pilots and engineers based at Heathrow.
Talks with unnamed potential buyers for BMI Baby and BMI Regional are continuing, BA said.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “BMI is heavily loss making and is not a viable business as it stands today.
“As we look to restructure the business and restore profitability, job losses are deeply regrettable but inevitable.”
The firm said in a statement that it will look into placing some staff in the east Midlands in jobs with other local industrial firms such as Rolls-Royce.
It added that BMI’s planes will be repainted to carry BA’s livery.
BA won regulatory approval for its £172m deal to buy BMI from German carrier Lufthansa on 30 March.
As part of this clearance, European authorities ruled that BA must sell on 14 of BMI’s 56 highly sought-after Heathrow landing slots to rivals.