06/05/2012 - Bmibaby Grounded

THE RECENT news that bmibaby is to close will come as bitter news to both travelers and workers alike. 

Bmibaby – which is part of British Airways - employs nearly 500 staff.  It will close down completely in September.  However, all flights from its Belfast base will stop in the middle of next month.  It’s thought that other flights (from the East Midlands and Birmingham) will also stop around the same time.

Those who had booked holiday travel with bmibaby have had their plans thrown into chaos.  They will get full refunds – but face the frustration of having to cancel, re-schedule or re-book their holiday.

However, the situation looks much worse for ordinary employees of bmibaby.  According to a report (3 May) in the Guardian:
“British Airways' parent company IAG acquired bmibaby and bmi regional when its purchase of bmi mainline from Lufthansa was cleared last month. IAG has made clear that the low-cost and regional subsidiaries were not part of its plans. The takeover could ultimately lead to 2,000 job losses across the bmi group, although IAG boss Willie Walsh has insisted that the deal was preserving many jobs that would otherwise have been lost.”

With this in mind, Solidarity is wondering why the Con-Dem government didn’t step in and ask serious questions about the IAG bid for bmibaby.  After all, IAG seems to have made it very clear that they would close down the company – indeed, a report in the Telegraph (of 4 May) noted that:

“IAG bought loss-making bmi for access to its prized Heathrow take-off and landing slots.”

Once again, it looks like Cameron and Clegg are happy to sit idly by and let ‘market forces’ do all the running.  They don’t seem to be interested in providing any sort of direction for the British economy.   All they do is allow capitalists to cut jobs and services in the private sector – whilst they cut jobs and services in the public sector themselves!