bmi, the UK`s second largest full-service scheduled airline, is to launch competitive services between Aberdeen and London Heathrow on 28 March, expanding and enhancing its well-established network of flights to and from Scotland.
Operating an initial five jet flights a day on weekdays and four a day at weekends, conveniently timed for both business and leisure travellers, bmi will offer a full-service business and economy class cabin, with web fares starting at just £28 one-way including taxes and charges. The route goes on sale today.
“bmi has a long association with Scotland, with scheduled service operations stretching back over 50 years, so it gives me particular pleasure to announce the addition of Aberdeen-Heathrow to our network,” said bmi chief executive Austin Reid.
“Travellers from the city will now benefit from choice, and bmi will be the only airline offering the option of a full business or economy class service into the UK`s key hub airport at Heathrow. This will also introduce an added competitive dimension, bringing a wide range of seamless worldwide connections via our Star Alliance partners and our many code share agreements.”
The airline`s first ever direct scheduled services from the Granite City to Heathrow firmly establish it as a major player in Scotland and represent the ongoing commitment to the region and the investment the company is prepared to make in jobs and new air links. It will also bring welcome competition to the route to Heathrow, seeing bmi compete head to head with its main UK domestic rival.
Aberdeen-London is the fifth largest UK domestic market for flights, and until now the only top five market not to be served by bmi scheduled services.
bmi is also starting daily services from Inverness to Heathrow on 28 March. The launch of the route, which was abandoned by British Airways, will re-establish links to Heathrow and onward worldwide connections with bmi`s Star Alliance partners. Fares will start at £14 one way including taxes and charges. The route goes on sale today.
The addition of Aberdeen and Inverness doubles the number of direct bmi routes from Scotland to Heathrow, complementing the airline`s well-established services from Edinburgh and Glasgow. From next March bmi will offer 150 departures a week from four of Scotland`s key cities to Heathrow.Ê
bmi has also announced further route developments on its regional network. Following the success of its Aberdeen-Norwich service, which was launched in March, an extra daily flight will be added from 26 January, taking the total number of weekday services to five a day.
Aberdeen will also benefit from a new service to East Midlands Airport from 26 January. The route will operate once daily Monday to Friday, with web fares starting at £25 one way including taxes and charges, on sale tomorrow.
Glasgow will gain a once daily service to Knock, the gateway to the north west of the Republic of Ireland, on March 15, in time for St Patrick`s Day. Web fares start at £25 one way including taxes and charges and go on sale tomorrow.
“The bmi group`s presence in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength,” said Mr Reid. “Not only will we provide links between four of Scotland`s largest cities and London Heathrow; we have a comprehensive and growing network of services operated by bmi regional with its headquarters based in Aberdeen; and our low cost arm bmibaby is currently operating four routes out of three Scottish airports.”
Today`s new route announcement is another example of the financial and operational commitment made to Scotland this year.Ê During 2003 bmi regional established corporate headquarters and line maintenance function in Aberdeen. The relocation of the entire engineering resource for bmi regional was made from East Midlands Airport to Aberdeen, representing an investment of £4.2million, creating 40 jobs and bringing the current total staff count at the base to 120.
bmi services can be booked at www.flybmi.com or on 0870 60 70 555