In one of its biggest strategic moves ever made, bmi british midland has completely scrapped its traditional “full service” fares system and introduced a simple one way fare structure, reflecting those used by low cost carriers. The move heralds the start of even lower fares for both domestic and European passengers travelling to and from the UK, particularly at London Heathrow the airline’s main operating base.
From 14 June 2002 onwards, bmi will move away from what travellers often perceive to be complicated return fare structures and offer all passengers fares that can be booked on a one way basis. This move will enable passengers to choose from the lowest available fare on each leg of their journey without being inhibited by minimum stay requirements, such as the restrictive “Saturday night stopover”.
bmi passengers departing from Heathrow will now benefit, for example, from one way fares to Brussels for £45; Dublin for £46; Nice for £59 and Paris for £49. Passengers from Leeds Bradford will enjoy one way fares to Brussels and Paris at £65 amongst others and passengers from Scotland will be able to travel on one way fares to Manchester from £35 and Heathrow at £30 for example.
Further relaxation of existing booking terms and conditions also means that passengers will be able to change the original flight they are booked on subject to a small administration fee and any applicable difference in the available fare price.
Austin Reid, chief executive officer, bmi british midland said:
“We began an exhaustive review of our business model last year and this major strategic change is an aspect of it.
“What we had found was that one of the main areas where our “no frills” competitors had an advantage over us was our fare restrictions, specifically on our very low fares which nearly always had to be booked as part of a return journey. What we have done, is wipe the slate clean and start again with this complete rethink of our ticket prices.
“We have seen first hand with our own low cost airline, bmibaby, that customers want simple one way fares with no minimum stay requirements and this is exactly what we are doing. bmi passengers can now win on all accounts, fantastic low fares direct to main city airports throughout the UK and Europe with all the benefits that a full service airline has to offer including dedicated lounges, business facilities and complimentary food and drink.
“Over the years, bmi has gained its reputation by bringing much needed competition to travellers who often only had one choice and that was the national flag carrier airlines. We intend to continue being competitive and strongly believe that this new fare structure will appeal to our customers and will help us to continue moving forward in the ever changing and challenging market in which we operate.”