IAG sells bmi regional for $12.9 million

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Published: May 14, 2012

bmi A320. Courtesy bmi

International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways (BA) and Iberia (IB), has sold British Midland International’s bmi regional to a group of Scottish investors for £8 million ($ 12.9 million).

IAG, which finalized the purchase of bmi regional’s parent company bmi last month, had said the regional operator did not figure in its plans (ATW Daily News, May 7).

Bmi regional, which operates 14 Embraer ERJ-145s and four ERJ-135s, is based in the northeast Scottish city of Aberdeen and operates to destinations in the UK and northern Europe.

A primary investor behind the purchase, Ian Woodley, set up a small carrier, Business Air, in the 1980s, which was eventually bought by bmi and became the core of bmi regional.

He has been joined by several other investors, including former Business Air executive Graham Ross and members of the Bond family that previously owned North Sea oil helicopter operator Bond Helicopters and are investors in Scottish regional carrier Loganair.

“In essence, [bmi regional] is the guts of the same company that Ian and Graham founded,” a bmi regional spokesman said.

The deal will preserve bmi regional’s 330 jobs.

The spokesman added that, following a period of consolidation, the company plans to develop its network both within the UK and in northern Europe.

It will keep its brand name and, for now, the existing color scheme: “There’s obviously some value in the brand,” the spokesman said.

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