After inaugurating the first of two new international routes from Bristol Airport earlier this month, bmi regional has kept to its word that it would look at other options for network growth from the facility by revealing plans to add another three European destinations to the route map of the South West England gateway. The regional carrier will offer regular links to Milan, Italy and Hannover and Munich in Germany, while its soon to launch link to Frankfurt will increase to a double daily schedule as it further strengthens its position in the German market following its debut in the Hamburg market from February 11, 2013.
bmi regional will introduce six times weekly services on the routes to Hannover, Milan and Munich from May 13, 2013, the same day it will boost its Frankfurt schedule to double daily. Its expansion will mark the return of non-stop flights from Bristol to Milan and Munich, but will be the first direct link to Hannover.
“The launch of these routes to Munich, Milan and Hannover is a continuation of bmi regional’s promise to serve key economic and tourism hubs in Europe from the UK. We are positioning bmi regional for real growth in Bristol and the South West.”Cathal O’Connell
Chief, Executive Officer, bmi regional
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, and the third largest city in Germany, was last served from Bristol by British Airways’ (BA) regional BA Connect business in March 2007. According to UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data 19,364 passengers flew between Bristol and Munich in 2006, during the last full year of flights. The city is famous for its historic architecture, university and artistic culture, as well as being the headquarters of BMW. Its location beside the Alps, its famous museum and its annual Oktoberfest beer celebration ensure it has a huge leisure tourism business.
Milan, the second largest city in Italy and its economic and financial heart, is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy, host to the Italian Stock Exchange and the headquarters of Italy’s largest banks and companies. It was last served by easyJet up until April 2010 having previously also been flown by BA’s partners. According to UK CAA data 63,120 passengers flew between Bristol and Milan in 2009, during the last full year of flights.
Hanover, a major business centre of northern Germany, is the capital of the German federal state of Lower Saxony. It hosts trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and the CeBIT every year, and is a major European transport rail and road transport hub attracting a mix of business and leisure demand. According to MIDT data, approximately 2,500 bi-directional O&D passengers in the past year flew between Bristol and Hannover, each paying an average $134 per single ticket. The main traffic flows are with KLM via its Amsterdam Schiphol hub (69 per cent) and with Brussels Airlines via the Belgian capital (24 per cent), while additional travellers will be making use of ground transportation to get alternative flight itineraries and direct services.
“The launch of these routes to Munich, Milan and Hannover is a continuation of bmi regional’s promise to serve key economic and tourism hubs in Europe from the UK,” said Cathal O’Connell, Chief Executive, bmi regional. “We are positioning bmi regional for real growth in Bristol and the South West, having already launched three routes from Bristol before Christmas to Aberdeen, Frankfurt and Hamburg. These routes have gained real momentum and, as a result, we are doubling our frequency on the Frankfurt route to twice a day.
bmi regional’s network strategy is to choose destinations with both business and leisure customer demand and its latest destinations from Bristol fit this model well as major centres for technology and manufacturing. There is also expected to be some inbound demand to Bristol, South West England and South Wales. “bmi regional has recognised the strength and resilience of the South West economy and has made a major commitment to connect corporates in the region to key European business centres,” said Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer, Bristol Airport.