Big news from UK, BA to buy bmi from Lufthansa

Clearly the big news today is that Lufthansa are selling off bmi to the group that owns British Airways and Iberia.  They plan to complete the deal by April 2012 according to press reports.  It appears that the slots at Heathrow are again the attraction for BA/IB. It appears that Virgin also wanted bmi, but lost out. There is sure to be a ‘No Way BA/bmi’ campaign – although whether this will go to the lengths of painting this on Virgin aircraft is undertermined.

It appears that BA will then have 54% of slots at Heathrow.

It also appears that bmi Regional will be sold seperately and continue to run as an independent airline.

What does this mean for Frequent Flyers – well if bmi Gold’s are lucky they might become BA Golds! However, I would suggest bmi members who want seats on Star Alliance airlines start planning their redemptions. The generosity of the bmi “Cash+Miles” scheme is not matched by BA.

A popular redemption:

London Heathrow (LHR) – New York (JFK) – Return **

British Airways

Economy = 50k miles + £298.13 to 25k + £493.13

Club = 100k miles + £438.13 to 75k + £813.13

First = 150k miles + £438.13 to 112.5k + £813.13

(** Note from later in November, redemptions reduce to 40k in Economy, 80k in Club and 120k in First, plus taxes, fuel surcharges etc).

 bmi (typically Star Alliance Flights)

Economy = 45k miles + taxes to 25k miles + £140 + taxes

Business = 67.5k miles + taxes to 37.5k miles + £210 + taxes

First (not Lufthansa)= 112.5k miles + taxes to 62.5k miles + £350 + taxes


So if you have a lot of bmi miles, it’s time to cash them in in my view.