Bloomberg News

Virgin to Appeal EU’s Approval of BMI Takeover, Branson Says

April 15, 2012

Virgin Atlantic Ltd. founder Richard Branson said he will lodge an appeal against the European Union’s approval of British Airways Plc’s acquisition of Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s BMI brand.

“We will challenge every aspect of this process which, if allowed to stand, will undoubtedly damage the British airline industry for years to come,” Branson said in an e-mailed statement today. “The European Commission has seemingly ignored all of the strong cases made by politicians, business groups and airlines, to enable one big company to become even more bloated.”

While Virgin plans to bid on all 12 of the take-off and landing slots that International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG)’s British Airways unit has been asked to give up as part of the merger’s approval, Branson said that won’t be enough to ensure adequate competition.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at

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