Nearly half of BMI jobs to be axed in BA integration

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British Airways expects up to 1,200 job losses from the integration of BMI into its operation, and has started talks with personnel representatives.

Some 55% of BMI's 2,700 UK-based staff would be retained during the takeover. These include 1,100 pilots, cabin crew and engineers at London Heathrow, as well as 400 passenger services positions at the airport.

But personnel would be cut at regional airports and BMI's headquarters.

"Consultation will seek to reduce the number and mitigate the impact of the proposed redundancies, including the potential to offer vacancies within British Airways at Heathrow," says BA.

BA says it will also look at creating jobs at its Glasgow engineering facility from January 2014 when BMI heavy maintenance contracts outside the UK expire.

"BMI is heavily loss making and is not a viable business as it stands today," says BA chief Keith Williams. "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. We will work with the unions to explore as many options as possible and are already working with industry partners."

BA will gain around 56 daily slot pairs at Heathrow through the takeover, of which up to 14 will be available to other airlines. BMI's aircraft will be repainted in the livery of British Airways.