Following its acquisition last month, Bmi plans to have fully integrated BMed, the former franchise carrier of British Airways, into its operations for the start of its winter 2007 flying programme.

Bmi said it will operate as one airline – bmi – from the end of October 2007, and until then BMED will continue to operate as a BA franchise with no change to routes.

Nigel Turner, chief executive officer of bmi, said: ‘In assessing our investment in BMED before the decision to acquire our 99% shareholding, it was clear that we could only justify the investment of £30m if we were able to reduce the cost base significantly.’

He said the integration of the two airlines will result in a group with annual revenues in excess of £1 billion and with a much expanded route network from London Heathrow.

He said that the immediate implications of the integration are that a number of BMED head office jobs are at risk of redundancy, but that within the rest of the BMED workforce, both in the UK and overseas, there is no indication that any jobs will be lost.

Bmi, which operates up to seven return flights daily on the Dublin-London Heathrow route, first entered the Irish marketplace in 1989.

BMED, which was formally known as British Mediterranean BMED, has 770 employees and has operated as an independent franchise partner of British Airways since 1997.

It flies under the BA brand name to 17 destinations in 16 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.