I knew something like this was on the cards as soon as Bmi launched Bmi Baby. It was just a matter of time, for Bishop to keep baby (as his baby - hence the name) and sell the rest off. Personally I thought it would have been LH
buying them out totally rather than another attempted merger with VS
This is not the first time that VS
has attempted to merge with BD
. It happened a few years ago, but SMB did not want to loose the British Midland name, ( the Virgin name is more widely recognised - about 98% of the UK population have heard of Virgin). Branson even suggested that SMB be the chaiman and he would just be a member of the board, but still SMB wasn't happy with that and the talks failed, so it would be interesting to see what is on the table this time, although I personally think that it would mean one airline loosing it's name (BD) rather than re-naming the whole lot or merging the two names.
If this merger goes ahead, it will be the best thing for both airlines. It will give VS
access to the UK/European market and will give Bmi access to the Transatlantic market from LHR
which they have been craving for a long time. It will also make it easier for both airlines to compete with BA
, as they are both competing but just in separate areas.
Everyone seems to be talking just of the BD
routes feeding onto the VS
routes, but this also works in reverse, in that the VS
longhaul routes will feed onto the BD
routes too and both will supplement each other.
"I think they should work out an extensive code share agreement - using BMI
to connect various UK & European airports to the LHR
hub and feed them transatlantic passengers"
That used to happen until Bmi joined the Star Alliance, now though because of Star most of Bmi's pax connect onto other Star carriers, although VS
do still codeshare on a few of the main routes.
With regards to the aircraft, those A330's could be used to start up LHR
has been planning for sometime and BD
already has the rights to operate. The VS
A321 (that was used on the ATH
route) that is confirgured in a 2 class config could be used on the LGW
-PHC service, as it would be comercially viable to bring it back into service then, as there would be all those other A320/321's operating in the fleet rather than just the 1 if they did it now.
The downside of this would be for the staff at grass roots level as it would probably mean some job losses as the 2 airlines merged various departments.
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"