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BA/bmi merger (was Virgin & Balpa - bmi next ?)

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BA/bmi merger (was Virgin & Balpa - bmi next ?)

Old 30th Mar 2012, 16:44
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: LHR
Posts: 90
Good news

From IAG:

The European Commission (EC) has today given regulatory approval for International Airlines Group's purchase of bmi from Lufthansa.

Some technical conditions need to be finalised before completion, which is anticipated to take place around April 20, 2012. Following completion, it is intended that bmi mainline will be integrated into British Airways during the coming months.

IAG has offered the following commitments to the EC as part of the regulatory process:
Seven daily slot pairs to be used between Heathrow and either Edinburgh and/or Aberdeen.
Five daily slot pairs to be used between Heathrow and the following destinations - Nice, Cairo, Riyadh, Moscow, Edinburgh and/or Aberdeen.
Two Heathrow daily slot pairs will be leased to Transaero for use on flights to Moscow.
Other airlines can apply for seats on the integrated BA/bmi short and midhaul network for their transfer passengers, on normal commercial terms.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: "We're delighted the EC has given competition approval for our acquisition of bmi. Their decision follows a thorough review during which the views of key stakeholders have been taken into account.

"This is great news for Britain. Over time we will launch new longhaul routes to key trading nations that are currently not served from Heathrow while supporting our shorthaul network. This is good for UK business and UK consumers. We have already announced that British Airways will re-start flights from Belfast to Heathrow, maintaining important economic links.

"Expanding our longhaul network also helps Heathrow grow as an international hub airport despite its infrastructure constraints.
"This deal will maintain high quality jobs at bmi and create similar jobs when we expand. More British jobs will be saved than if bmi had closed. British Airways will consult with bmi staff and their unions as soon as possible.

"We plan to operate bmi's summer schedule and will update their customers once the transaction has been completed".
The acquisition cost of bmi is unchanged at 172.5m in cash, on a debt-free, cash-free basis, but is subject to significant price reductions if Lufthansa does not opt to sell bmi baby.

IAG's Heathrow slot portfolio, excluding the commitments made to the EC, will increase by at least an average of 42 daily slot pairs. The transaction is still expected to be earnings accretive by 2014 at the latest. The commitments do not affect IAG's plans to increase its 2015 operating profit target of 1.5 billion by 100 million and its target of delivering a 12 per cent return on capital employed. IAG estimates that restructuring costs related to the integration of bmi will be around 100 million spread over three years with the majority in year one.
BusDriverLHR is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2012, 16:45
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 88
Hand Solo

Hear, hear.

You will undoubtably have no problem with the bmicc attempting to get a resonable deal for their members then.
lamina is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 01:12
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Courchevel
Posts: 819
Quite right ScotPilot, the eyes will be on BALPA over this BA/BMI merger. They have a golden opportunity to act in a fair and balanced way or side with the ones who make up the majority of their membership. Their choice and they'll deal with the consequences as an organisation if they get it wrong. They've been publicly quiet on the whole issue up to now.
Count von Altibar is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 01:23
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: South East
Posts: 184
They've been publicly quiet on the whole issue up to now.
No they haven't. Balpa's view via the IRSC (Industrial Relations Sub Commitee) is available for all members to read on the Balpa forum's general members area. The IRSC is made up of pilots and Balpa officers who are not connected to either BA or BMI.
Super Stall is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 08:38
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 136
And more importantly than seniority, I wonder what they will do to help the regional and baby pilots...
Van G is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 10:47
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
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What have BALPA's legal people said about it Super Stall, that wouldn't fit well with the shove everybody to the bottom of the list brigade. The truth is that it isn't down to the BA company council, it'll be the BA legal people and their HR department etc. that oversee all of this. I'm not trying to wreck your seniority list or career aspirations, just pointing out the reality of the situation.
Count von Altibar is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 10:55
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
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It would appear that BAs view is that either the bmi pilots go to the bottom of the list to keep the peace, or if theres any prospect of unrest from them they go on a standalone, TUPE-protected dying fleet. BALPAs view is that the bmi cc wont get any sort of deal out of BA without the assistance of the BACC, and the BACC have made it clear their members will only tolerate bmi joining on the bottom of the list. As has been said before, TUPE doesnt guarantee you anything beyond what you have right now.
Hand Solo is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 11:41
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: LHR
Posts: 90
For anyone who hasn't seen it, the BALPA IRSC recommendations (as posted on the BALPA forum) make for interesting reading.
BusDriverLHR is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 11:47
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 93

I think what you need to be aware of is that the agreed savings from BA pilot community to allow BMI to join our airline were tied to the BA CC being satisfied with the seniority arrangements.

So there is much incentive for BA to ensure that happens.
Nevermind is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 12:13
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: The Twilight Zone near 30W
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What have BALPA's legal people said about it Super Stall, that wouldn't fit well with the shove everybody to the bottom of the list brigade. The truth is that it isn't down to the BA company council, it'll be the BA legal people and their HR department etc. that oversee all of this. I'm not trying to wreck your seniority list or career aspirations, just pointing out the reality of the situation.

The IRSC report on the BALPA forum will answer most of your questions and you're right in that BA legal have a large say in the matter. There are many reasons detailing why the final outcome will go broadly in the direction indicated by the BA posters.
Human Factor is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 13:33
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 4
The recent precedent set by the BMED integration into the bmi seniority system seems to only attract aggression coupled with weak defence of an apparent u-turn of legal interpretations.

Let`s hope the employers interpretation results in a fair compromise for all.
Fir Tree is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 14:00
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: England
Posts: 50
I'm baffled. You are on the brink of what is widely acknowledged as a once in a lifetime growth opportunity in BA that should provide opportunity for all beyond what they could have imagined a few months ago. The BACC want bmi pilots at the bottom of the MSL with augmented rights, so bmi pilots aren't unfairly disadvantaged. The bmi CC want an integrated list using one of a number of methods recently employed by BALPA in other mergers, with mitigation to ensure the existing BA pilots aren't unfairly disadvantaged.

Assuming that 'augmenting' one group is broadly the same as 'mitigating' for the other, am I right in thinking that there is about to be an almighty fallout over what 'number' you are and who gets the most sweets? Really? If my kids were having this row I'd bang their heads together and tell them to grow up and share the opportunities offered as if they were actually part of the same Association in a profession with a supposedly noble history. Can't any of you move away from focussing on 'disadvantages' and celebrate the advantages? Honestly, I've seen more sensible discussions over the toys in a sandpit at nursery school.
look you is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 14:16
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
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As a former member of the BACC/NEC I am accutely aware of the in fighting that is about to take place. There have been many past integrations of pilots into BA. ie the joining of BOAC & BEA the Cambrian pilots Dan Air Caledonion etc. To make the airline work in a harmonious way it is necessary for all to work in a constructive way. If you produce a lop sided agreement then resentments will develop. I remind everyone that the ratio of bmi pilots to BA pilots is about 1 to 11. The advantages of having say 20 new longhaul routes with the opportunities they will give must far outweigh any petty squabbles re seniority.
A type freeze of the joiners for a period to allow the current BA pilots to move to a position/fleet of their choice before the merging of the seniority lists is a sensible way to go
Walnut is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 15:25
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: UK
Age: 37
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So theres my hopes sounding dashed. I understand that people are frustrated. I really am sick of hearing all of the moaning from BMI pilots about joining the bottom of the BA list. That is exactly the place I want to be, I applied and passed the selection and I am now waiting for a start date in the hold pool. I am in this position due to redundancy and I came out to the middle east, where by the way there are plenty of jobs!! But to be at the bottom of the list of a successful and strong company is much better than one which always has uncertainty. If all you want is a quick command and to fly the 380 then come to middle east, however I would happily trade places with all of you.

But please bear in mind that there are those of us who hope for a quick solution and continued expansion just so that we can continue our careers. And we are all more than happy to go behind all of you on the seniority!
LHRbound is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 16:17
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Lhr pony,
You claim to have knowledge of impending redundancies amongst the bmi mainline fo's. Aside from the fact that the current slots need to be flown, are you suggesting that the specifics of the redundancies were determined prior to the approval of the purchase, which was only announced yesterday? Justifying such redundancies in light of walsh's explicit assertions, that bmi slots are to be converted into long haul operations, seems highly doubtful. This, compounded with ba's current, and recent, recruitment drives, suggests that any pilot redundancies, especially any predetermined redundancies, are unlikely to be lawful in the specifics of the ba/bmi merger.
xwindflirt is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 16:43
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London
Age: 38
Posts: 19
All recruitment (short haul and long haul) was stopped a few months ago when it was clear the takeover was going ahead (do you think Ba waited until y'day to start planning the integration?) and apparently became clear that flight ops would be significantly over crewed, in the same way a lot of the back office roles are also over crewed. Combine this with Mr Walsh being very clear y'day that there will be reduundancies.
Do you think being a pilot means you will be treated any differently to your ops, marketing, engineering etc when it comes to redundancies? or will they do what the did during the Dan air takeover and say we need 90 ish pilots, the rest were not given contracts? I know one of the guys who was let go during that affair, he's now in Ba as a dep fo many years later, flying with his former dandair fo colleagues who are now long haul capts.
The expansion that everyone talks about with long haul is years away, we can't just rock up and grab a few 777's off the shelf.
No conspiracy or am I claiming to have access to info that isn't already out there (check the balpa forum), but that's what happened before and that's probably what will happen again......meanwhile everyone is bitching about seniority and missing the bigger issue.

For the record I would hate, absolutely hate to see any pilot without a job, baby and regional included.
Maybe the Bmi guys should be putting there energy into that rather than deciding how to cut up the cake without realising the cake just got a lot smaller.
Xwindflirt as unappealing as it would be it would be completely legal for Ba to say we only need x amount of pilots, in exactly the same way Ba can say we longer require the services of baby or regional pilots, why do you think Bmi is a different special case?
LHRPony is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 17:08
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cloud Cookoo Land
Posts: 1,271

Yes, bmi's slots need flown, but there is now 14 less slot pairs to actually fly as a result of yesterday's deal. I also accept that IAG purchased bmi in order to obtain their slots for longhaul expansion, however this won't be an overnight job - this is something that will take YEARS. BA for one don't have the airframes to do so and you unfortunately can't do a Rangoon and back in a bmi A319.

IAG will fulfil bmi's summer schedule and slowly wind it down until you have one big BA. The last thing I think that they want is another loss making SH operation. They already posses one! God knows how they plan to do it, however having 14 less slot pairs to initially worry about may actually do them a favour; who knows?

As for BA's recent recruitment drive, I can tell you something from experience. As soon as the plan to acquire bmi was announced, the buoyant level of recruitment slowed down to a trickle. At the beginning of the year it was announced that it would be suspended come March. Anyone awaiting a course date from BA would subsequently have their tenure in the hold pool extended from a standard 12 months to 18 months. Their potential employment would be pending developments largely external to BA. So in terms of legality, you have little to worry about. BA hasn't been making anyone offers whilst the decision over the purchase and integration of bmi was being made.

So if there are to be redundancies in mainline and of course baby and regional, then I'm not at all surprised. As horrible as it will be for those affected, Walsh will always stick by the arguement that if IAG hadnt been permitted to take bmi then bmi itself would have ceased to exist. Branson could have huffed and puffed all he liked about how he would have re-engaged in negotiations, however all he wanted to ensure in all of this was that IAG and BA didn't get bmi. After all, what would Virgin Atlantic have done with it?
Callsign Kilo is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 17:57
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I for one will stick my neck out and suggest that there will be no pilot redundancies. Why because shorthaul a/c are crewed with 5 crews per a/c whereas longhaul need approx 10 crews per a/c, Now if it is BA's plan is to start up to 20 extra longhaul services then that will absorb a lot more people. I suggest the long term plan is for the LGW 737s (17 a/c) to be phased out and be replaced by an equivalent number of bmi 320s, That leaves most of other 10ish bmi a/c to operate the ex BMED routes. Such a plan is how the shorthaul slots will become longhaul ones. The tricky part will be how the 737 LGW pilots (a lot unwilling) will be handled.
What I have sugested is very contentious but with goodwill could be managed. It just makes sense that the BA shorthaul fleet is one type, most of the 737s at LGW are oldish and also fuel inefficient
Walnut is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 18:20
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Callsign Kilo & LHRPony

Both of you are way overreading this situation, whether by choice or through mistake. Xwindflirt is quite right, the slots immediately need to be flown.

The big picture you are missing is the fact that 12 slots are potentially up for grabs on select routes only, whilst 2 are being 'leased' to Transaero.

Firstly, we do not know how long this lease is for? The details have yet to be announced of this but there is potential for these to return to BA at some time in the future far as I can interpret the press release.

Secondly (and this is far more important and relevant), what airlines do you already know of that are going to jump at the opportunity to fly the shorthaul domestic routes from Scotland to LHR? If no one comes forward to operate them, then by default IMHO, they return to BA. If so, who do you think will be needed to operate them? Oh no, I forgot, you already made them redundant in your ideal scenario!

The other consideration is that BA lease some longhaul airframes to utilise these slots asap. That's not before even considering the fact that there is potentially 2 airframes (according to rumours at least) that may be replacing BD's current A330s, when the current ones get returned to the lessors. As BD already have current type rated pilots, together with engineers, there is also potential for BA to damp lease other 330s which are equally ideal aircraft to operate start up routes initially, until BA can wheel out the real big guns inline with their existing orders or moth-balled ones.

Rather than worrying folk unnecessarily, I would suggest that we wait to hear facts rather than speculative negativity, unless your objective is to try and unsettle people to accepting a place at the bottom of the MSL without fair discussion?

I have already spelt out my position on this matter earlier in this thread and why there should be fair and accurate discussion on the bringing together of the two airlines. The 'so called' independant report drafted by the Union is farcical and this matter I believe is being reviewed, as there are considerable errors and ommisions throughout.

BALPA have almost used up the last of their lives on this mistake and already people are considering options from the IPA to group representation with funding from individuals. BALPA NEC should take note that some hold them personally responsible if they renege on the legal stance that they insisted was the only avenue open at the time of the bmi/BMED takeover, if a similar line is not strongly suggested to the BACC too. If this is the case, they could find themselves having to answer some very difficult questions.

The real discussion point though should be about how to make Baby and Regional attractive options to potential purchasers or even to BA in order to minimise job losses. I also believe that it should only be fair that a suspension of holdpoolers 'time in pool clocks' should be frozen until this whole complex matter is fully worked through. After all, why should they also be disadvantaged by a situation which should be seen as a long term 'advantage' for everyone.
No walkover is offline  
Old 31st Mar 2012, 18:29
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cloud Cookoo Land
Posts: 1,271
Much prefer your opinion, No walkover, and I apologise to those who I may have pressed additional anxiety upon - bad form on my part.

Mods, close this thread and remove all others that are similar. They are f**king with people's heads unnecessarily. It's best to await the official synopsis, as No walkover suggests.
Callsign Kilo is offline  

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