News Indian airline ‘wants BMI Heathrow slots’

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Indian airline ‘wants BMI Heathrow slots’

A leading Indian airline is reportedly taking a new approach to securing highly coveted landing spots at Heathrow.

A leading Indian airline is reportedly taking a new approach to securing highly coveted landing spots at west London hub Heathrow.

Jet Airways has been alerted to the holding of 11 per cent of Heathrow landing slots by British Midland (BMI) and is reportedly seeking a takeover of the airline in order to cement its London footing.

Jet Airways, the largest domestic airline in India, was claimed by the Sunday Telegraph to have approached BMI chairman Sir Michale Bishop with a view to buying out his 51 per cent stake in the firm.

An aviation consultant told the Times of India: "Sir Michael Bishop owns 51 per cent stake in UK carrier British Midland (BMI). BMI has control over 11 per cent slots in Heathrow and Jet Airways has approached Sir Bishop for controlling stakes in the carrier. In some ways, it’s a repetition of the Air Sahara buyout. We are looking at gaining slots in major airports during peak hours by buying stakes in airlines that are rich in this aspect."

Competition for a BMI buyout could be high, with Heathrow transatlantic flyers BA and Virgin Atlantic already voicing an interest, alongside Lufthansa – already nearly a 30 per cent stake-holder in the firm.

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