British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) has tabled an offer for rival bmi according to reports from Sky News.
If successful the deal would see the British flag-carrier cement its position as the largest carrier at London Heathrow where bmi presently owns ten per cent of the landing slots.
Other carriers operating out of the Heathrow – the busiest international airport in the world – are likely to seek to block the deal.
BA parent International Airlines Group (IAG) is understood to be interested in acquiring the whole airline from current owner, the German flagship carrier Lufthansa.
British Airways purchased six pairs of landing slots at Heathrow from bmi last month.
Since the creation of IAG – following the merger of BA and Spanish carrier Iberia – chief executive Willie Walsh has made no secret of his desire to expand the organisation.
TAP of Portugal and Japan Airlines are both seen at potential partners.
Virgin Atlantic has also been mooted as a possible buyer for Lufthansa owned bmi.