British Airways today announced that it is to combine its two UK regional subsidiaries, creating the second largest regional airline operation in Europe. British Airways Regional (BAR) is to become part of the newly formed British Airways CitiExpress, creating a single entity for its short-haul regional domestic and European network.
The combined regional business will have a turnover in excess of £600 million and a fleet of 92 aircraft serving more than 120 routes. The new entity will employ around 3,200 people and carry some five million passengers each year.
The airline also confirmed a number of capacity, frequency and route changes. In the current economic climate, the integration of BAR with British Airways CitiExpress will also help safeguard the future of regional flying and ensure a more flexible and co-ordinated approach to services.
David Evans, British Airways’ General Manager, UK Business, said, “Harnessing the strengths and route networks of British Airways’ CitiExpress and BAR under the control of a single operating unit will put our regional operation in a stronger position at a time of economic downturn and increased competition.”
“This move is imperative to protect the future of our operation in the UK regions and will ensure that our routes can become viable by achieving a better balance between capacity and demand in what is one of the most competitive and de-regulated aviation environments in the world.”
The synergies resulting from the integration, along with the tactical capacity reductions and network changes, will mean the regional business will employ around two hundred fewer people in the future.
Over the coming weeks British Airways will be consulting with trade union representatives regarding the integration of BAR staff with the British Airways’ CitiExpress business.
Notes to Editors: Network Changes effective October 27, 2001:
Suspension of Manchester to Bristol and Newcastle to Oslo daily services. Manchester to Amsterdam services will downsize from Boeing B737-500s to Embraer 145s - frequency unchanged at five per weekday. Flights from Manchester to Shannon and Stansted will reduce by one daily frequency with Manchester to Londonderry services switching to franchisee Loganair.
As previously announced, Belfast flights from Cardiff, Aberdeen and Manchester will be consolidated at Belfast City Airport. Glasgow to Cork services will move to bigger aircraft - Dash 8s - to meet demand on weekdays.
Edinburgh to Belfast services lose a daily frequency Monday to Thursday. Birmingham to Glasgow and Edinburgh services reduce by one per day to seven weekday flights. Off peak flights from Birmingham to Dusseldorf and Frankfurt downsize from Airbus 319 to Embraer 145s.
British Airways CitiExpress: Formed earlier this year following the acquisition of the British Regional Air Lines Group and the integration of that business with the West Country wholly-owned subsidiary, Brymon Airways.
British Airways Regional: British Airways Regional has a fleet of 10 Boeing 737-500 based at Manchester and 9 Airbus A319 based at Birmingham. It operates14 routes to Scotland and Europe from Manchester, as well as New York. From Birmingham it operates 12 routes to Scotland and Europe. BAR has a turnover of £284 million, employs 1,008 people, carries 2.2 million passengers and operates a fleet of 19 aircraft to 25 destinations.
British Regional Air Lines Group: The group constitutes British Regional Airlines (a British Airways franchise partner since 1995) and Manx Airlines. Manx Airlines operates in its own colours between the Isle of Man and major airports in the UK, Channel Islands and Ireland. BRAL serves regional and UK hub airports throughout the British Isles and Continental Europe from its main base at Manchester. The network includes routes to Berlin, Hanover, Lyon and Nice. BRAL has a turnover of £228 million, employs 1,469 people, carries 2.6 million passengers annually with its fleet of 51 aircraft on 70 routes.
Brymon Airways: West Country based Brymon operates UK and European routes to such cities as Dublin, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris from its biggest base at Bristol. Brymon has a turnover of £120 million, employs just 778 people and carries 1 million passengers each year on services to 22 destinations with a fleet of 22 aircraft.
Taken together, the network changes announced today will release three aircraft from the BAR fleet to British Airways mainline - two Manchester based B737’s and one Birmingham Airbus A319 - in addition to the previously announced move of four B737-500s to London operations.