Reply To: bmi Suffers Further Route Closures

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ON the contrary – BA might be the only player with the cash (for such a prize they will do all they can to raise it).

Competition – Notwithstanding a greater share at LHR, it still leaves BA with less share at LHR than competitors at other Euro hubs. Furthermore no one can argue there is competition problems on short-haul from London.

The AF experiment of operating long haul flights from LH shows the difficulty of a new entrant, which reduces the appeal, particularly from a Euro Major.

VS would love to bid – but I think their major shareholder will block investment of the size required

Not sure ownership rules or route structure would justify a Middle Eastern carrier spending. Moreover the wealth funds of that region are said to be over-leveraged now.

Which leaves us with US airlines, who could feasibly use the slots more productively. But do they have the cash?

No for me, the most likely scenario is BA buying the LHR fleet, routes and slots, with Easyjet or flybe taking up the regional operations. BA will cite the need to consolidate to protect their business. They are the only ones that could create an economic case to justify spending to the extent that LH will demand to recoup their forced outlay.

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