The bmi group has announced a restructuring of its engineering functions in a move that will create three fleet-specific engineering and maintenance bases to serve the three operating units within the group.
From March 2006, bmi will consolidate all of its Airbus aircraft fleet maintenance and engineering at the airline’s main operating base at Heathrow. At the same time bmibaby will focus its main engineering capability for its Boeing fleet at its home base of Nottingham East Midlands Airport. bmi regional will continue to conduct all maintenance and engineering for its Embraer fleet at its Aberdeen base, as now.
The moves will lead to significant improvements in the airline’s operational and cost efficiency. In addition, bmi is to introduce equalised maintenance for all three fleets, leading to improved efficiency in maintenance schedules.
Ian Davies, bmi director of engineering, said: “We now operate an all-Airbus fleet at Heathrow. By dedicating our Airbus engineering facility there, we can clearly bring significant efficiencies to our operations.Ê
“In addition, as Heathrow’s second biggest airline we can explore opportunities for third party line maintenance work, with nearly 100 airlines operating in and out of the airport.
“At the same time we will be focusing bmibaby’s 16 Boeing aircraft maintenance at Nottingham East Midlands Airport. This will enable that facility to develop in line with bmibaby’s continuing growth in the low cost market.
Ê“By focusing our engineering functions in this way we are removing unnecessary duplication and creating a far more efficient operation. This will enable the airlines within the bmi group to benefit from an extremely cost-effective operating programme in the future.”
Davies confirmed that the group would also embrace ‘equalised’ maintenance processes for all three fleets. This is a practice already in place at bmi regional.Ê Equalising means undertaking programmed maintenance more efficiently through continual ongoing maintenance programmes throughout the year, rather than all-in-one ‘blocked out’ time, and is a process favoured by many of the world’s leading airlines.
He said: “These changes mark a major step forward in terms of efficiency, yet safety and reliability remain at the top of our agenda.Ê We have been working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority throughout this programme and will continue to do so.”