bmi is to double the number of services between London Heathrow and Moscow Domodedovo from 30 March 2008.The additional daily service, which launches at the start of the summer 2008 timetable, builds on the success of the current daily Moscow flight which launched in October 2006 and marked bmi’s first venture into the mid haul market.
The new timetable will also see the introduction of an additional late evening service between Heathrow and Manchester taking the total to eight flights a day, as well as an improved schedule for the three times daily service between Heathrow and Durham Tees Valley.
Peter Spencer, bmi managing director, said: “In launching the summer 2008 timetable we are pleased to be adding an extra flight to Moscow from Heathrow. Since launching the route less than eighteen months ago we have experienced encouraging growth and we now feel that by introducing an extra service we can provide an even more attractive schedule, thus widening its appeal to both point to point and connecting traffic at Heathrow.”
From the start of the summer schedules flights between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford will reduce to four times daily with the suspension of the late evening flight, while the once a day service from Heathrow to Inverness will be suspended and the summer-only services to Alicante and Nice will not operate in 2008.
Peter Spencer said: “Charges such as the punitive APD (air passenger duty) that affect domestic travellers in particular have made fares higher, and the inflation-busting airport charge increases that have been implemented at Heathrow over the last few years - which are set to grow even faster from April 2008 - puts further pressure on short haul services like Inverness. We are very disappointed that there has been insufficient demand to operate a viable profitable operation on this route but load factors have not been sufficiently high enough to sustain the service.
“We acknowledge the efforts that Inverness Airport has made to assist bmi in the continuation of the route through the level of fees at Inverness Airport. We also appreciate their lobbying regarding proposed fees and increases at Heathrow and the disproportionate structure of charging adopted by BAA. However, despite these efforts the route is just not a viable proposition due to the cost of the operation and the limited passenger volumes that it attracts.”
Passengers with reservations on services which are being suspended will be offered a full refund or reaccommodation on another service.