Virgin files complaint to Brussels about BA's takeover of BMI

Virgin Atlantic will today lodge an official complaint with the European Commission claiming prices will be hiked, routes axed and competition "eradicated" if British Airway's owner International Airlines Group is allowed its £172.5m takeover of BMI.

The airline said that if the merger was approved, three key domestic routes to and from Heathrow – Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester – would become BA monopoly routes. Its submission claimed BMI's withdrawal of flights from Heathrow to Glasgow last year left BA as the sole operator and resulted in fares rising and the number of flights falling.

IAG responded that the takeover would safeguard both jobs and regional services, and said it had added 4,000 weekly seats to its Heathrow-Glasgow service last year.