bmi regional to Launch Aberdeen-Norwich

bmi regional to launch Aberdeen-Norwich service - new jobs created as airline invests £4.2 million in Aberdeen engineering base - new management infrastructure in place


bmi regional is to launch competitive services between Aberdeen and Norwich on 31 March 2003, the start of its summer schedule. The airline will operate four return flights a day using a 37 seat Embraer jet aircraft, offering both a business and economy class service. Travellers can make reservations for the new service from today (Friday 17 January).


The news follows the announcement that bmi regional is to invest £4.2 million in relocating its entire engineering base from East Midlands Airport to Aberdeen this summer. The move will create an initial 33 jobs with a further eight expected in the autumn, taking the total number of bmi regional staff based in Aberdeen to over 100. The base will handle all maintenance requirements of the fleet of 11 Embraer jet aircraft, which has an average age of under three years and represents a total value of £100 million.


Passengers flying on the new route will benefit from an all-jet, full-service operation, offering both business and economy classes, a frequent flyer programme, as well as a competitive one-way fare structure. This enables travellers to choose from the lowest available fare on each leg of their journey, without being inhibited by minimum stay requirements. Fares will start from £73.50 one way in economy and £162.50 one way in business.*


The addition of Norwich brings the number of UK airports served by bmi regional to eight and is the first time the airline has ever operated schedule services to and from East Anglia.

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Alex Grant, managing director of bmi regional, said:


“The launch of this new route is further proof that we are committed to bringing competitive services to passengers wishing to travel within the UK. Our all jet fleet provides the speed, efficiency and reliability that customers expect, something that our direct competitors cannot match. We are also the only carrier on UK domestic routes to offer both business and economy classes.


“We see the introduction of services operated by bmi regional as an ideal opportunity for the airline to bring its excellent levels of service and extremely competitive prices to air services linking these two important business communities.


“bmi regional has an established corporate headquarters and line maintenance function in Aberdeen, and the relocation of our entire engineering resource to the city is evidence of our ongoing commitment to the region and the investment we are prepared to make in jobs and new air links from Scotland.


“We are working with the BAA and Scottish Enterprise to explore the potential for developing further new routes under the funding initiative recently announced by the First Minister where new services are supported, and are hopeful of a positive outcome.”


bmi regional has built on its route network which has been matched by consistent passenger growth over the past year, particularly on services to and from Scotland, which have carried 71 per cent of all the airline’s passengers. The number of passengers on services to and from Aberdeen has risen by 10,000 in the past 12 months. The frequency and capacity of many services have been increased, and new initiatives such as the Edinburgh to Stornoway route introduced.


As part of its restructuring bmi regional has announced a new senior management team. Managing director Alex Grant is joined by Captain Bill Hanton as operations director, Stewart Adams as service director, Ian Davies as technical director, and Crawford Rix as commercial director.


“I am delighted to announce the new senior management team of bmi regional following my recent appointment as managing director. The team is dedicated to providing key areas with fast, efficient and cost-effective air links while maintaining the high standards that bmi is renowned for.”


Aberdeen Airport’s managing director, Norton Bertram-Smith, welcomed the airline’s increased profile at the airport and said:


“The introduction of more choice and greater frequency of service is great news on a route that is an important connection for the North east business community and the relocation of bmi regional’s maintenance facility demonstrates their ongoing commitment to the region.” bmi regional is a wholly owned subsidiary of bmi, the UK`s second largest full service scheduled airline and is the only regional airline to offer its customers the comfort and speed of an all-jet fleet.


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