Bmi Regional - the Aberdeen-based subsidiary of Bmi - is to be sold to an investor group based in the UK, with the brand retained "for an interim period" and the published winter schedule proceeding as planned.
Bmi (itself a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group) has confirmed that it is is in "advanced discussions" to sell the airline to "a UK based investor group previously associated with the regional business".
Bmi plans to complete the deal before the end of the calendar year. The carrier says that "Bmi Regional will continue to fly in an interim period under its existing brand name and offer the BD flight code. The currently published winter 2011/2012 schedule will continue as planned and no major network changes are envisaged for summer 2012."
According to the press release the airline will continue to be based in Aberdeen, and will aim to "further develop the regional network in both the UK and Europe".
It's not yet clear whether the sale will lead to redundancies, either at Bmi Regional or its parent company, but Bmi said that the intended buyer "has indicated that it is keen to consult with staff and this process will start shortly to enable the transaction to complete as soon as possible. Once the consultation is under way a further announcement will be made."
Bmi Regional operates a fleet of Embraer ERJ aircraft, with routes from regional destinations including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and East Midlands.
If the sale goes ahead, the Lufthansa Group will then be left with mainline Bmi services from London Heathrow, and the low-cost subsidiary Bmibaby. There has been much speculation surrounding the potential sale of Bmi, with the carrier holding lucrative slots at Heathrow, and BA and Virgin among the interested parties.
For more information visit flybmi.com.
Report by Mark Caswell