bmi sells Heathrow slots

bmi has sold 51 London Heathrow slot pairs to British Airways. The slots are now used by BA franchise partner British Mediterranean (BMed), which is being acquired by bmi. As part of the slot deal BA will codeshare with bmi on former BMed routes.

BA reunites with Worldspan

British Airways has signed a three-year deal with Worldspan which the technology provider says makes it "a preferred distribution channel for the airline". The deal was forged after 41 corporate clients wrote to BA saying they would not use BA if it failed to conclude negotiations with its major global distribution system providers.

TAP plans for privatisation

TAP Portugal has hired McKinsey to help prepare the Star Alliance carrier for privatisation. TAP plans to privatise next year and has already received interest from several unidentified parties although the process is still in the very early stages.

New carrier for Portugal

The parent of Spanish charter carrier Iberworld Airlines is setting up a new Portuguese charter carrier. The Orizonia Group says Lisbon-based Orbest will launch operations in June using Airbus A330s. Orbest will serve holiday destinations including Montego Bay in Jamaica, Cancun in Mexico, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Salvador da Bahia in Brazil.

Aer Lingus charges for seats

Aer Lingus is beginning to charge customers who wish to pre-select their seats. From the end of May it will charge short-haul passengers €10 ($14) for seats in the first five rows, €15 for exit row seats and €3 for all other seats. Customers can still select seats at check-in for no charge.

Lufthansa buys regional jets

Lufthansa's board has approved an order for 30 E-190 and 15 Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets for delivery from the end of 2008. The Embraer part of the deal takes over a dormant order for 15 E-170s and 15 E-195s placed in 2003 by Swiss International Airlines, which is now in the process of being taken over by Lufthansa. The carrier will use the new regional jets to phase out its fleet of BAe Avro RJs and 146s.

Source: Airline Business