bmibaby, the low-cost airline launched by bmi british midland has reported an exceptional start for the first four weeks of operations. 49,034 seats were sold on the eight routes flown by the three aircraft of the bmibaby fleet achieving a load factor of 74%.
Punctuality was particularly high compared with other low cost airlines with 91% of all flights operating on time or within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time.
The airline now estimates it will carry more than 500,000 passengers in the first nine months of operation to the end of the current financial year ending on 31 December - a third higher than forecast. In the 11 weeks since 28 January 2002 when seats went on sale to the public, more than 200,000 seats have been sold.
Three new routes from the East Midlands Airport to Alicante, Geneva and Munich will be introduced in the autumn with seats going on sale on 1 May 2002.
The current aircraft fleet of three aircraft will increase to five aircraft in October and eight in March 2003. Further routes are under active evaluation and a second UK hub will be established in March 2003.
Tony Davis, managing director, bmibaby said:
“Having decided to enter the low-cost sector, bmibaby has proved it will be a major player. Our passenger sales for the first four weeks of service demonstrate that our operation at East Midlands Airport will be extremely successful. bmibaby has both the expertise and resource to mount a major expansion and we intend to compete vigorously in this sector.
“We expect to carry one and half million passengers next year and have now embarked on a process to establish a second UK hub before the start of the next summer season.”