The bmi group of airlines carried 864,816 passengers during October, an 18 per cent increase on the same month in 2002. The overall monthly load factor grew by two percentage points to 70 per cent.
Austin Reid, bmi chief executive, said: “We remain on target for a record year in the number of passengers that we are carrying.Ê Revenues still reflect the highly competitive nature of the market, emphasizing the continual need for costs to be kept firmly under control.Ê We remain focused on exploring and implementingÊ major business efficiencies throughout the business, many reflecting the changes in consumer trends and needs.
bmi mainline -
The overall load factor for bmi mainline operations out of London Heathrow was 73 per cent, three percentage points up on the same month last year.
A number of key business and leisure routes experienced passenger growth in October, due in part to a major national newspaper promotion which ran earlier in the year. Brussels and Palma were both up 25 per cent, Milan 16 per cent, Manchester 11 per cent, Glasgow seven per cent and Belfast City six per cent.
bmi regional -
bmi regional, operating an all jet fleet in niche markets, reports continued growth on its services from Leeds Bradford and Manchester to Scotland. The number of passengers flying between Leeds Bradford and Glasgow grew by 16 per cent, with Manchester to Edinburgh and Glasgow up ten per cent and nine per cent respectively. Other routes performing well included Aberdeen - Esbjerg, up 16 per cent, and Edinburgh - Jersey, which grew by 149 per cent, following the introduction of daily flights earlier this year.
October saw the launch of services between East Midlands Airport and Brussels, which is exceeding initial expectations.
Passenger traffic and load factors on routes from Manchester to Chicago and Washington remained constant. bmi still remains the market leader on services from Manchester to Chicago.
bmibaby, the low cost arm of bmi, launched five new routes during the month, including the start of services to Belfast International from its newest base at Teesside. Routes to Malaga and Geneva begin from the north east airport in November and December respectively. Geneva services also launch from East Midlands Airport, Cardiff and Manchester in December.
Continued strong growth across the network, combined with passenger growth from new routes, has put the airline firmly on course to meet its budgeted target of three million passengers in 2003.
bmibaby marked its first anniversary of operations from Cardiff in October by being named Best Low Cost Airline by readers of a leading national newspaper.
developments in October -
á bmi called for British Airways and Iberia to give up slots at Heathrow, as it outlined a series of concerns to the European Commission over the proposed commercial co-operation arrangements between British Airways, Iberia and GB Airways.Ê bmi believes that the commercial arrangements between the three airlines raise serious competition concerns around scheduled air services between the UK and Spain.
á bmi announced one-way fares starting at just £9 excluding taxes and charges from London Heathrow to a wide range of destinations across Europe. The new lowest ever fares mean passengers can enjoy the full service standards bmi is renowned for whilst paying low fares from Heathrow to many European and UK destinations.
á bmi regional announced it is to launch direct services from Birmingham to Gothenburg through a codeshare agreement with Swedish based City Airline on 3 November. All flights will be operated using the City Airline fleet of modern Embraer jet aircraft and will offer a full service business and economy cabin.
á bmibaby introduced new services from Manchester to Barcelona and Prague. Neither European destination is currently served by a low cost airline from Manchester. Other new routes in the month included Cardiff to Prague and Cork, and from new base Teesside to Belfast International.
á bmibaby launched three major seat sales during October, with the cheapest fares on offer from 45 pence one way, excluding taxes and charges.