bmi regional has announced a restructuring programme which will see future growth focus on routes with “clear growth prospects” as it rebalances its network to support a growing charter business and new growth opportunities.
Following a comprehensive review of its network and operations over the past year, bmi regional is to close four routes. As a result, its crew bases in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester will close. The Manchester – Edinburgh and Manchester – Antwerp services will cease on November 29, 2013; Birmingham – Billund on December 30, 2014; Edinburgh – Brussels on December 31, 2013 and Edinburgh – Copenhagen on January 6, 2014.
“The changes are an inevitable consequence of bmi regional’s transition from a subsidiary of a group to a standalone business. Over the last year, we have rebuilt our infrastructure and systems as an independent airline, and reshaped our operating network.”Cathall O’Connell
Chief Executive Officer, bmi regional
“The changes are an inevitable consequence of bmi regional’s transition from a subsidiary of a group to a standalone business,” explained Cathall O’Connell, chief executive officer, bmi regional. “Over the last year, we have rebuilt our infrastructure and systems as an independent airline, and reshaped our operating network.”
We have built Bristol into a major new base, targeted the growing oil and gas business through our increased Aberdeen network and launched new domestic services in Norway. Our non-scheduled charter business has had a huge increase in ad hoc work and flying for other carriers (‘wet lease’), for instance, with Flyglinjen in Sweden,” he added.
bmi regional was reformed in June 2012 following independence from IAG to offer business and leisure services from regional airports. The latest network changes will enable aircraft to be released for the recently announced Newcastle-Brussels service and to enhance the strongly performing charter business. The new Brussels service is just part of five new routes launched in the last eight weeks: Aberdeen-Oslo, Aberdeen-Kristiansund and Stavanger to Harstad and Tromso.
“The performance of the new routes has met expectations, whilst parts of the legacy bmi regional network are challenged due to the loss of feed traffic and competitive factors”, said O’Connell. “As a result, we are going to rebalance the network to concentrate on our new routes, increase our presence internationally to take advantage of the oil and gas industry, and significantly enhance our charter offering”.
Meanwhile, bmi regional has confirmed its recently announced Norwegian domestic services will launch with effect from January 23, 2014. The carrier will offer scheduled services connecting Harstad / Narvik Airport, Evenes to Stavanger in January 2014, the first direct air link between the two fastest growing regions in Norway, and important hubs for the Norwegian oil and gas industry. The flights will be operated ever weekday using an Embraer ERJ 145.
The recent ‘"Arctic Flight - Connecting the Norwegian Oil and Gas Industry" report launched at ONS Stavanger in August showed that the oil industry could have savings of 400 million kroner annually by having faster connections and more flights between the emerging oil regions of northern Norway and the oil capital Stavanger.
“The solid data and documentation of "Arctic Flight - Connecting the Norwegian Oil and Gas Industry" report, combined with the support of local government, businesses and the airports convinced bmi regional to launch domestic flights in Norway. We are particularly happy that we are connecting the people and communities in Northern Norway with their families and friends in the Stavanger region,” said O’Connell.