The bmi group of airlines will carry 905,000 passengers in July, the first time the company has broken the 900,000 mark.Ê It is a 25 per cent increase on July 2002 and is the company`s highest-ever level of passengers carried in one month. Load factors of 74 per cent mark a rise of five percentage points over 2002.
bmi is the UK`s second biggest full service scheduled airline and the second biggest carrier at London Heathrow next to British Airways
Austin Reid, bmi chief executive officer, said: “July 2003 will be the most successful month ever for the bmi group in terms of passengers carried, with growth in each of our business streams.
“We did gain a modest amount of traffic as a result of industrial action at British Airways - but in truth, our ability to take more passengers was limited by our already high load factors that weekend.Ê However, we believe the industrial action has led to an immediate increase of around ten per cent in our advance bookings in the days since.
“The short-haul market remains highly competitive, with our yields remaining constrained but ahead of our budgeted expectations. Our efficiency programmes, our business initiatives to compete in key markets and our tight control on costs are ensuring the company remains a robust and growing force in these challenging times.”
The overall load factor for bmi`s mainline operations out of London Heathrow grew by five points to 77 per cent, compared to the same month last year. Key routes experiencing significant increases in passenger traffic include Manchester (31 per cent), Belfast City (30 per cent), Brussels (31 per cent), Palma (25 per cent) and Nice (17 per cent). The load factor on the route to Madrid rose ten percentage points to 86 per cent; Dublin was up five percentage points to 86 percent; and Paris increased three percentage points to 81 per cent.
Passenger traffic on the Edinburgh-Jersey route increased a massive 173 per cent following the introduction of daily services; Manchester-Aberdeen 26 per cent; Manchester-Glasgow 13 per cent; and Edinburgh-Brussels ten per cent.
The number of passengers travelling Manchester to Washington grew by 18 per cent in July, with the load factor rising 11 percentage points to 75 per cent. The route to Chicago saw an increase of 14 per cent in passenger numbers, and a ten percentage point increase in the load factor to 79 per cent.
Routes from East Midlands Airport to Murcia and Prague grew by 88 per cent and 84 per cent respectively, while routes previously operated on a full service basis by bmi continue to show impressive growth. The number of passengers travelling East Midlands to Belfast was up 54 per cent; Edinburgh 72 per cent; Paris 34 per cent; and Dublin 32 per cent.
Routes from Cardiff to Alicante, Malaga and Palma report load factors of 88 per cent, 85 per cent and 79 per cent respectively.
Manchester to Murcia had a load factor of 84 per cent, while Palma and Malaga were 82 per cent and 76 per cent respectively.
á bmi regional announced it is to launch services from East Midlands Airport to Brussels in October, building on the success of its existing Brussels links from Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford. The route is currently operated bmi bmibaby, but as a predominantly business destination, has a more natural `fit` with bmi regional`s full service offering. á bmi announced it is launching the only direct daily services from London Heathrow to Tenerife for the winter. The route, starting on 8 November, will serve both the north and south of the island, with flights to Reina Sofia Airport (TFS) in the south five days a week, and Los Rodeos Airport (TFN) in the north twice a week.
á bmibaby launched a seat giveaway, with 200,000 free seats up for grabs - the airline`s biggest ever online seat offer.
á bmibaby announces it is to double services between Geneva and Cardiff during the winter after its weekly flight sold out in record time.
á bmi added Alicante and Nice to its Pet Travel Scheme network, allowing passengers to travel with their pets on the daily direct services. The additions take the number of Pet Travel Scheme routes to and from London Heathrow to seven: Alicante, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Milan (Linate), Nice and Palma.
á In a move aimed at bringing much needed competition to USA services from Heathrow, bmi applied to the relevant Government authorities, together with Star Alliance partner United Airlines, for a blanket codeshare agreement to cover each other`s markets from Heathrow. The airlines are seeking an approval that would place the bmi code on the services of United Airlines from Heathrow to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington as well as domestic services within the USA.