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4:05pm UK, Thursday April 12, 2012
The takeover of bmi by British Airways is set to lead to up to 1,200 job losses, the airline has announced.
BA has begun a consultation with unions on proposals to integrate the bmi business into its operations at Heathrow Airport after the acquisition was given regulatory
approval from the European Commission in March.
BA said that without the acquisition, all 2,700 bmi jobs could have been lost.
The jobs under threat are at bmi’s head office at Castle Donington in Derbyshire and at regional airports.
Jobs secured include 1,100 cabin crew, pilots and engineers at Heathrow and up to 400 passenger service roles at Heathrow’s Terminal One.
Hundreds of BA jobs at Gatwick Airport are also at risk
Keith Williams, BA’s chief executive, said: “bmi is heavily loss making and is not a viable business as it stands today.
“Our proposals would secure around 1,500 jobs that would otherwise have been lost.
“As we look to restructure the business and restore profitability, job losses are deeply regrettable but inevitable.”
The airline added that it will be working on potential job opportunities with industry
partners in the Midlands, such as Rolls-Royce, and will look to create jobs at
its engineering facility in Glasgow from January 2014 when the contract for bmi
aircraft heavy maintenance work outside the UK expires.
Oliver Richardson from the Unite union said although bmi’s future has been secured, he was saddened by the scale of the job losses.
“Unite will be fighting to maintain as many jobs as possible and ensure that, where vacancies exist, people can be placed into suitable roles within BA,” he said.
“The job losses will take place over a number of months and we will be seeking to use this time to mitigate the impact of the cuts.
“We are also mindful of the fact that additional jobs need to be secured at bmi Regional and bmibaby which still face an uncertain future.”
The news came less than 24 hours after an announcement that hundreds of BA’s Gatwick Airport workers would also lose their jobs under cost-saving plans.
BA said 120 check-in and customer service staff would be made redundant at the airport, while 400 baggage handlers, drivers and loaders would lose their jobs unless they transfer to a sub-contractor.