Sir Michael Bishop, chairman of Midlands-based BMI, yesterday increased his stake in the airline after acquiring the minority interests in the BBW Partnership.
Sir Michael now owns 50 per cent plus one share, Lufthansa has a shareholding of 30 per cent minus one share and SAS Scandinavian Airlines owns the remaining 20 per cent.
The BBW Partnership was set up by a consortium of the airline's directors, including Sir Michael, and originally acquired BMI - then called British Midland Airways - from Minster Assets in 1978. The partnership has now been dissolved after Sir Michael bought out the remaining two members for an undisclosed sum.
Last month the airline posted a huge increase in annual profits - overcoming the impact of soaring fuel costs through a major change in strategy. Pretax profits in 2005 came in at £10 million, up from the previous year's figure of £2.6 million.
Turnover increased 4.7 per cent, from £830.1 million to £869 million.
The airline said a move to focus on more profitable business traffic and the more efficient use of its fleet of aircraft had enabled it to negate static passenger numbers, unchanged at 10.5 million.
It faced a fuel bill of £37.5 million in 2005, but this was in part recovered by passenger surcharges as the group turned operating losses of £3.2 million in 2004 into profits of £5.5 million in 2005. ..SUPL: