UK carrier bmi regional is creating a new base operation at Birmingham Airport and launching three new European routes from the UK’s second city in the coming months. The airline believes consumers are now looking for new experiences in more familiar regions and to meet this demand will introduce flights to Graz, Austria; Nuremburg, Germany; and resume a former link to Gothenburg, Sweden.
The zz/FlyBMI flights from Birmingham Airport - UK will commence as early as next month with Graz initially being served from February 27, 2017 with a twice weekly service on Mondays and Fridays, but growing to a four times weekly schedule from March 2017. The Nuremberg and Gothenburg routes will launch on May 8, 2017 with a six times weekly schedule. All the routes will be served by a 50-seat Embraer ERJ145 regional jet.
“bmi regional has always offered customers an array of up and coming destinations to explore and enjoy, and we anticipate all three routes to be popular,” said Jochen Schnadt, chief commercial officer, bmi regional.
“Given the many issues we are facing in different parts of Europe and the world these days, many people are looking for new experiences in more familiar regions and our new destinations have an abundance of interesting and exciting experiences to offer to customers,” he added.
All three markets are currently unserved from Birmingham, although bmi regional did previously offer flights from the Midlands’ airport to Gothenburg between May 2013 and March 2015. Immediately before that it was flown by independent Swedish regional carrier City Airline.
“Given the many issues we are facing in different parts of Europe and the world these days, many people are looking for new experiences in more familiar regions.”Jochen Schnadt
Chief Commercial officer, bmi regional
The Graz route will return direct flights from the UK to Austria’s second largest city. Actually bmi regional’s first market in Austria, the culturally important city, which was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites in 1999, was previously served by Ryanair from London Stansted but flights ended in November 2012.
“The link between Austria’s second-largest city and the second-largest city in the UK offers many opportunities for tourism in both cities,” said Gerhard Widmann, managing director, Graz Airport, highlighting the route launch as a great example of collaboration between parties to deliver the link.
“The scheduled flights to Birmingham are a good example of what can happen when all parties – airline, economy, tourism and airport – cooperate well and openly to achieve a shared goal,” he added.
The Bavarian city of Nuremberg is the second largest city in the region after Munich and will be bmi regional’s seventh market in Germany. The city’s Airport Nurnberg became a base for Ryanair this winter and a new UK link to Manchester has been added to its long-standing London Stansted operation.
“Nuremberg’s new connection to Birmingham will undoubtedly enrich our economy. We are looking forward to working with bmi regional in the future,” said Dr Michael Hupe, managing director, Airport Nurnberg.
Located between Germany's two hub airports of Frankfurt and Munich means Airport Nurnberg may be the small fish in the pond, but its novel Blue Ocean marketing campaign is helping deliver new city connectivity.
Located between Germany's two hub airports of Frankfurt and Munich means Albrecht Dürer Airport Nürnberg may be the small fish in the pond, but its novel Blue Ocean marketing campaign is helping deliver new city connectivity. The Air Service Development team revealed to Routesonline at last year’s World Routes that the airport is advising prospective airline partners to beware of the shark tank that hub airports can be and benefit from the Blue Ocean chances in Nuremburg.
Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city, remains a popular mini break destination and is the best served of bmi regional’s new markets from the UK with British Airways flights from London Heathrow and Cambridge (the latter flown by franchise partner Sun-Air Scandinavia), Norwegian from London Gatwick and Ryanair from Edinburgh and London Stansted.
“With a new passenger record set for 2016, we are happy to start the new year by adding an additional destination from Gothenburg Landvetter Airport. The number of leisure travellers between the UK and Sweden is increasing, so we’re happy that bmi regional is adding new capacity,” said Charlotte Ljunggren, airport director, Swedavia.