Virgin Atlantic is set to appeal against the European Commission’s decision to allow IAG, BA’s parent company, to acquire BMI for £172.5m.
The deal, which was announced in December, is expected to come into effect on April 20th and will mean that BA gains 56 more slots at Heathrow airport – although the carrier was forced to give up 12 slots as a condition of the deal.
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson claims that the deal, which gained regulatory approval on 30 March, could damage the aviation industry for years to come.
“This deal was agreed with lightning speed and we think the number of slots offered is derisory - representing less than a quarter of BMI’s former network,” commented Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic.
“We will challenge every aspect of this process which if allowed to stand, will undoubtedly damage the British airline industry for years to come.
“The European Commission has seemingly ignored all of the strong cases made by politicians, business groups and airlines, to enable one big company to become even more bloated.”
BA revealed earlier this week that the takeover could result in the loss of up to 1,200 jobs at BMI