Virgin Atlantic moves to scupper IAG-bmi deal

Virgin Atlantic moves to scupper IAG-bmi deal

Virgin Atlantic has launched an official complaint with the European Commission in an attempt to halt the takeover of bmi by British Airways.

International Airline Group-owned British Airways agreed a deal with Lufthansa to acquire the airline for £170 million in late 2011.

However, Virgin Atlantic has complained the deal would reduce competition and subsequently increase prices for passengers.

If the deal is allowed to stand, Virgin Atlantic argues, BA would control a virtual monopoly between London Heathrow and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester airports.

“When British Airways was left the only operator on the Glasgow to Heathrow route in 2011, fares paid by Scottish travellers rocketed by 34 per cent in six months,” Virgin Group president Richard Branson said in a statement earlier.

Virgin Group owns a majority stake in Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic had been part of the bidding for bmi, before Lufthansa selected BA.

British Airways has insisted its rescue of loss-making bmi is the best interests of consumers and has previously stated it is “confident” the EC will approve the deal.