As part of an on going major business review, bmi has today announced that all its scheduled services from East Midlands Airport will from November be operated by its low cost airline bmibaby. The changes will come into place with effect from the commencement of the forthcoming winter timetable on 27 October 2002. The move follows the exceptional start by the low cost arm of bmi and the significant growth and customer demand that it is experiencing.
bmibaby currently serves nine international destinations from East Midlands Airport with a fleet of two dedicated aircraft. This is set to increase significantly into a major network of UK and European destinations as the East Midlands Airport bmibaby fleet is increased to nine dedicated Boeing 737`s by the end of the winter season. At Cardiff International Airport, its second UK base, bmibaby will serve an additional nine destinations with a fleet of two dedicated Boeing 737 aircraft from 27 October 2002.
Austin Reid chief executive officer of bmi said:
“We have been conducting an ongoing review of all of our operations over the last 18 months and have implemented a number of business initiatives as part of this exercise. It is vital that we recognise the changes in consumer attitudes that are taking place.
“One of our major developments was the launch, in March, of our own low cost airline bmibaby. Over a very short period we have witnessed first hand the desire that exists in the Midlands for this type of business model. Consumer demand and our confidence in the successful launch of bmibaby have already enabled us to launch nine international destinations from East Midlands Airport.
“Last week we announced an additional nine routes that we would be operating this winter from the second bmibaby base at Cardiff International. Focussing our efforts on bmibaby at East Midlands Airport will enable us to compete more effectively as well as increasing dramatically the range of destinations served. We shall be announcing the bmibaby winter schedule encompassing the entire route network this coming Thursday, 1 August 2002.
“A window of opportunity clearly exists for us to grow and develop the low cost part of our business at a time when the industry faces considerable competition and lower fares. The development of the bmibaby network at East Midlands Airport and its new Cardiff International base will provide us with a sound foundation on which to build our future growth and reputation in this important market. We have always maintained that we will compete vigorously in a wide range of markets, both the full service and low cost sectors. Our announcement today and the recent one way fare initiatives offered by our full service airline, show beyond doubt that we have a sound business strategy for us to continue to be a highly competitive force.”