I would think he knows about as much as we do hence the silence. Apart from quoting Willie Walshes we are hopeful/confident the deal will get approval to Lufthansa's threats what can be said. I just hope people understand the gravity of tomorrows outcome 4800 people await their fate.
So if the beardy one gets some domestic slots like he wants and you have to 'use em or lose em' what the heck does he plan to fly them with? Think ABZ may struggle with an A330! Or is just the usual Branson Bluster?
Beardy quite specifically doesn't mention UK domestic;
Virgin Atlantic, based in Crawley, England, said in the statement that it would use any “remedy slots” that it may acquire from IAG, as part of regulatory clearance, on routes where British Airways would otherwise hold a monopoly.
Virgin did say around the time they asked for an investigation that they would start regional flying if the deal was blocked/remedied. Also I believe it is the EC who will decide which routes will be covered and that I think that any airline taking those slots will have to commit to flying those routes for a certain period of time, I think it 2 years minimum???? I believe they can then use those slots as they wish.
Last edited by The Cleaner; 29th Mar 2012 at 12:43.
So, If the EU blocks the deal is bmi expected to continue operating at a loss to prevent BA having a monopoly on certain routes, who exactly will subsidise these routes!?? Or will the company just fold, the slots go back into the pool!! Di^khe£ds! Yeah I'm sure EVERYBODY wants to start up loss making European and Domestic routes at the moment!!
I am curious as to what I am reading about the "remedy" slots.
Is it correct that the remedy slots must be used for their specified purpose for a minimum of two years, after which they can be employed for any purpose ? So in theory they could be redeployed after two years as longhaul slots if the timings were suitable and then could they be sold on the open market, netting a handsome potential profit for the original beneficiary ? It might even make domestic losses bearable for two years .
Or would there be a prohibition on their sale or trade in perpetuity because they were allocated free as remedy slots, i.e. they could only be returned to the airport authority ?
Welcome comment anyone with a good knowledge of the system.
Typically how it works is this. The purpose of the slot release is to ensure competition on a given route. Therefore the slots are only usable for that route (let's say LHR-EDI). The bidding airline gets the slots for free, on condition that they are used on the route in question. You can't take the slots and then turn around after a week and say "oh, we want to use them for LHR-JFK instead". The regulator may appoint a "monitoring trustee" (law firm or similar) to ensure the slots are used appropriately.
For a good example, see the EC's judgement on the Lufthansa takeover of Brussels Airlines (PDF). It's a long document (but an example of the level of detail that typically goes into the analysis) but most relevant for your question are pages 118 onward, the commitments (= the proposed remedies). You'll see (section 439, page 120) that a new entrant gets to keep the slots ("grandathering rights") after a certain number of seasons, i.e. after that period, the slots can be used for alternative routes if the original plan isn't working out.
Note also (and this is relevant for IAG/bmi too) page 120 onwards also describes the other commitments, e.g. interlining/SPA provisions for connecting passengers.
I think this is a reasonable template of what we could expect as conditions for approval of the IAG/bmi deal.
Do these slots have to go to a UK airline (I've looked, but can't find anything that says that that they must)? Is there anything to stop Lufthansa bidding for LHR-EDI and feeding in to Star Alliance services? It would be rather ironic if LH were to pick up for free what they had just sold to IAG.
I don't think Granite are going to be part of any plans, since they don't seem to have actually been able to buy Regional. I would be stunned if Regional wasn't simply part of the deal with IAG now.
The Scottish Government can't really get involved in funding themselves, though they have various entities that might be able to help. However, the idea that Alex Salmond would put his money where is mouth is over this, is I'm afraid unlikely.
Lotta talk about Virgin Operating short haul to places like Scotland but after BA take over BMI, Which other airline is there with a lot of slots and a short haul operation? Which other airline currently serves UK domestic traffic from LHR ?
Does it not work that the company with he slots (BA/IAG) have to agree to give up those slots for that particular route to any competitor that wishes to enter the market? Therefore if no airline comes forward the slots are not given up. I believe this is what happened when Lufti took over Brussels airlines. Slots offered on 4 routes, 2 years later no airline had taken up the slots and they went back to lufti. The slots certainly won't be forced onto any airline. Correct me (I am sure someone will) if I am wrong.