Lufthansa has set the bmi end-game in motion. Having quickly scooped up the remaining 20% stake in bmi it did not own from SAS last week, Lufthansa has now appointed Jet Airways CEO, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, to the helm of the British carrier.
Prock-Schauer’s mission at bmi will probably be to sweep the broom through and ready the carrier for sale. bmibaby could be carved out first. Current bmi CEO, Nigel Turner, will shift to Acting Chairman, to clear the path for Prock-Schauer to swing the axe.
Prock-Schauer (an Austrian national) spent much of his previous career in Austrian Airlines, heading up the company's alliances group, as well as chairing Star Alliance's Management Board. This could perhaps suggest an alliance strategy out of the bmi tangle.
In the bmi statement, Prock-Schauer noted he “wishes to rejoin his family in Europe”. A return to Vienna, to head up Austrian Airlines, or to Lufthansa itself, is probably the next stop for Prock-Schauer, once the job at bmi is done.
The 12 potential bmi bidders will meanwhile be sharpening their pencils.