bmi, the second-largest airline at Heathrow, today announced the launch of Europe’s first modular airline service, following a six-month study surveying the views of 10,000 air travellers.
The modular approach will see bmi switch to a single class service, with paid-for catering on board and faster e-enabled services for customers on the ground. Most importantly, customers will be able to choose from three fare types, according to the level of service and flexibility they want with their ticket.
For the first time, true low-cost fares will be available from Heathrow, with bmibaby’s ‘tiny’ fares available on bmi flights.Ê These low-cost fares will have bmibaby’s standard low-cost terms and conditions.Ê They will be sold through flybmi.com and bmibaby.com.Ê Fares will start from £25 one-way, bringing Heathrow air travel well into line with any other airport for the first time in recent years.
For travellers wanting some flexibility and service, bmi standard fares will be available.Ê And for travellers wanting full flexibility and the highest levels of service, bmi premium fares will be available.
Nigel Turner, bmi’s chief executive, said:
“For the last three years we have faced two fundamental issues.Ê More than half of our passengers travel on business - but most of them do so in the rear of the aircraft.Ê They or their companies choose to travel in economy.
“And our leisure travellers are getting lowest fares but a full service offering.
“Now we’re getting back in sync with what our customers want.Ê We’re giving them the choice.Ê They can choose what they want - and what they want to pay for - when they travel.
“Only bmi, with its unique mix of low-cost and full service airline operations, could offer this range of choices to our customers.”
bmi is to use cutting-edge technology to deliver far greater on-the-ground speed at Heathrow.Ê More self-check-in kiosks are being installed, along with new systems to allow check-in and printing of boarding passes at home.Ê A new focus has been applied to the operation, which delivered significant improvements in punctuality, putting bmi well ahead of other Heathrow operators.
The new initiatives are expected to deliver savings of more than £30 million annually.Ê
bmi confirmed that four core business routes - Heathrow to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast City and Brussels - will retain a separate business class cabin, after research showed demand still exists for it on these routes.Ê But all other routes will become single class.
Nigel Turner said:
“We will give the passengers more choice, this will give us a unique market position where bmi once again becomes the consumers’ champion.”