bmi british midland today reported a pre-tax profit of £8.2 million (1999 = £11.1 million), on a 16.5 per cent growth in revenues to £739.2 million (1999 = £634.7 million) for the year ended 31 December 2000.
Passengers carried increased by 8.4 per cent to 7.1 million. Capacity increase in the year was restrained to 4.5 per cent resulting in the load factor advancing from 61.6 per cent to 64 per cent.
The decline in pre-tax profits arose primarily for the costs incurred in migrating part of the airline’s network and systems following entry into a European Co-operation Agreement with Lufthansa and SAS. A number of established routes were suspended and five new routes to Italy and Spain introduced. Additionally all pre-launch costs incurred in 2000 in preparation for the launch of transatlantic services in 2001 have been written off.
Highlights during the year 2000 included:
* the launch of high-frequency services from Heathrow to Madrid, Milan Malpensa and Rome on 2 May 2001 and Barcelona on 1 November 2000 (also Milan Linate on 29 January 2001) , re-shaping the airline’s core European network to cover a majority of the major routes from Heathrow;
* continuing investment in the short haul fleet, with the introduction of three new Airbus A321, two Airbus A320 and three Embraer 145 aircraft;
* the announcement of orders for four Airbus A330-200 long-haul aircraft (with options on a further eight), to be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772B engines, with deliveries commencing during May 2001;
* membership of Star Alliance, the leading global airline alliance;
* the announcement of a European Co-operation Agreement with Lufthansa and SAS;
* announcement of the launch of transatlantic services from Manchester to Washington and Chicago, during the first half of 2001;
* the airline became the first UK carrier to participate in the pet travel scheme, starting on the Amsterdam to Heathrow route;
* during the year, the airline was named Best UK Domestic Airline (Travel Weekly) for the 10th consecutive year, air cargo carrier of the year (International Freighting Weekly Magazine), and Best Short Haul Airline (Business Traveller).