BA takes control of Brymon for pounds 6m

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BRITISH AIRWAYS yesterday cornered another slice of the UK airline market by paying pounds 6m to gain control of Brymon Aviation, the loss-making regional carrier based in Plymouth.

In what was being styled as a 'rescue' operation, BA and Maersk Air of Denmark have agreed to finance a pounds 12m restructuring of Brymon's parent company The Plimsoll Line, in which they each already held 40 per cent stakes.

BA will emerge with ownership of Brymon and Plymouth City Airport and Maersk with control of Birmingham European Airways, TPL's other airline subsidiary.

The restructuring will safeguard 500 jobs but there will be 119 redundancies across the group, which lost more than pounds 4m last year after losses of pounds 2.8m in 1991-92.

Brymon operates regional services from Heathrow, Plymouth, Newquay, Bristol, Aberdeen and Newcastle and also flies to Paris and Frankfurt. Last year it carried 267,000 passengers in a fleet of eight de Havilland Dash 7s and Dash 8s.

Brymon is the third UK carrier to be taken over by BA. It bought British Caledonian in 1987 and Dan-Air last year, and also holds a 49 per cent stake in GB Air.

Jim Harris, the chairman of TPL and owner of the remaining 20 per cent stake, said that staff and management had put in tremendous efforts but the shareholders had concluded it would be difficult for TPL to move forward with its existing structure.