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Alex McWhirter, I only know what is public about the slots and the EU document is a little opaque.
Well, this is all I know:
-The 4x daily MAN slots are nothing to do with bmi, they are under no rules, and I believe VS owns at least 3 of them, though not sure, cause the fourth was a late addition. These could be reallocated to long haul or other routes as desired.
-The other 9x daily Scotland slots come from the bmi deal. I believe VS gets full ownership of these after 3 years, however, these can only be used for routes connecting London with Europe, according to the EC. The time period for these further terms is not public.
-Virgin could still apply for the last 3x daily bmi slots. The initial plan was to use two of those for Moscow, but the bilateral didn’t permit this. This route may still come off in the future, with Russia hinting at open skies, but the politics are very messy.
-The agreement with EI was indeed announced as 3 years, as per every contract, there would be penalties if terminated I guess.
-Virgin could still use the remaining bmi slots to start service to Nice, Cairo or Riyadh, though none of these are traditional VS territory, though it would be exciting! What would VHols do with Riyadh? No bikinis!
I hope you can see the rationale behind my thread now!
So, if you have 12 slots, only for Europe, what could you do…