One of the bigger concerns when IAG took over British Midland International was the fate of Belfast and Dublin routes.
British Airways has had mixed success with the routes in the past, and up until the takeover of BMI, had left those routes to Aer Lingus.
Whilst IAG is not touching 25% stake in Aer Lingus that is up sale, IAG (operating as British Airways) is happy to be back in Dublin, with an estimated 500,000 passengers being carried on its routes from Dublin Airport and Belfast City Airport to Heathrow during this year.
IAG is going for a twofold strategy for Dublin – Retaining the old BMI services as BA services on a point-to-point competition, whilst maintaining the Aer Lingus code-shares for its long haul interconnecting passengers. This makes some sense as there are limited slots for LHRDUB runs for IAG, whilst Aer Lingus seems to be flying out of LHR often and regularly.
Meanwhile, British Airways will remain at Belfast City Airport due to the slots gained with the purchase of BMI – and as such the service will remain as is.
Still – there is competition and choice still – something the regulators wanted… and got.