The plans of bmi (formerly British Midland Airways) to start flights between Jersey and Heathrow on 26 March are now under threat from competitor Flybe. The low-cost airline, which has strong links to the island, claims that the subsidies bmi is being paid by the Jersey government could be in breach of competition laws. So far the government has not revealed how much money is involved.
Bmi, in which Lufthansa and Scandinavian Airways have a stake, is the second largest airline in the United Kingdom (UK) and already has landing rights at Heathrow. Flybe, which operated 48 per cent of all flights between Jersey and the UK last year, but none of them through Heathrow, says that it would have considered applying for the expensive Heathrow slots had it known that the island government was handing out subsidies.