BA rejects fears over Scottish routes

BA rejects fears over Scottish routes

British Airways has rejected fears expressed in Scotland that a planned takeover of BMI will result in fewer flights and higher fares to Heathrow.

A BA spokeswoman pointed out the carrier operates 500 services a week between London and Scotland and this week increased services between Glasgow and Heathrow - a route from which BMI withdrew last year under current owner Lufthansa.

BA parent International Airlines Group (IAG) agreed a £172.5 million takeover of BMI from Lufthansa just before Christmas.

The deal awaits regulatory approval. But the Scottish agents’ association, the SPAA, has already expressed fears that BA might drop Heathrow services from Aberdeen and Edinburgh and fares might rise.

SPAA president Kevin Thom said: “The fear is BA will cut services.” He suggested the average BA Glasgow-Heathrow fare has risen by up to £60 since BMI pulled off the route.

A BA spokeswoman insisted: “We remain fully committed to operating the most extensive schedule of any airline between Scotland and Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.”

She told Travel Weekly: “We are the largest operator from Scotland to Heathrow. We also fly from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Gatwick and London City. There are more than 500 BA flights a week between Scotland and London.”

The spokeswoman added: “BA increased the number of seats on its Glasgow-to-Heathrow service by 25% this January to meet demand.”

There are now 67 BA return flights a week between Glasgow and Heathrow, up from 57 last year.

The spokeswoman said competition on routes between Scotland and London would remain if IAG completes a BMI takeover. She said: “EasyJet and Flybe operate up to 48 daily flights from Scotland to London.”

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