UK carrier BMI has signed a non-binding agreement with another potential buyer for its low-cost subsidiary BMIbaby, in addition to the deal signed earlier this year with an unnamed UK-based company.

BMI says that the latest suitor "has operations in several countries across Europe" and plans to acquire 100% of BMIbaby's shares.

It would take over the airline's fleet, route network and the continued employment of existing staff.

In January, BMI reached a similar deal with an unnamed company based in the UK.

"BMI plans to sign a definitive sale purchase agreement with one of the parties in the next few weeks," says the carrier.

"The completion of the transaction would occur shortly after this, subject to receiving all the necessary approvals." Financial terms have not been disclosed.

It adds that the BMIbaby brand name "would continue to be used for an interim period" and the carrier's head office would remain in the East Midlands.

"BMIbaby has attracted a great level of interest and our discussions open up great future prospects for the airline and its employees," says BMI chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.

BMI's owner Lufthansa wants to sell BMIbaby and sister operation BMI Regional before the planned sale of BMI's mainline operations to International Airlines Group (IAG), because the British Airways parent will pay a "significantly reduced price" if BMIbaby is still part of the acquisition.

IAG agreed with Lufthansa in November to buy BMI's mainline operations for £172.5 million ($273.6 million). Both parties are aiming to complete the transaction by 31 March.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news