The number of passengers carried by the bmi group of airlines in December 2003 grew by 11 per cent to 741,483, compared to the same month in 2002. The overall monthly load factor rose four points to 66 per cent.
The total number of passengers carried during 2003 reached a record 9.4 million, a 20 per cent increase on 2002. The average load factor for 2003 grew two points year on year to 67 per cent.
Austin Reid, bmi chief executive officer, said: “December provided a strong end to 2003, despite intense competition in the marketplace. We have seen a modest increase in load factors, unlike some parts of the industry , which are experiencing a slight downturn.
“2003 has been a year of consistent growth, resulting in the group carrying more passengers over the course of the year than ever before. This has been achieved in a year that has again proved challenging to the industry with the conflict in Iraq and the SARS epidemic. It is an encouraging achievement but with the highly competitive nature of the market and yields under pressure, our focus remains on controlling costs and maximising efficiencies within the business.”
developments in December -
á Following the publication of the White Paper on Aviation, bmi welcomed the news that the Government recognises the contribution London Heathrow makes to the UK economy and that there is a case for much needed additional capacity. However, the airline reacted with disappointment that the Government has recommended the building of a new runway at Stansted Airport ahead of Heathrow and believes that this could seriously damage its pre-eminent position as one of the world`s leading airports.
á bmi announced it is to start services from London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Inverness and Naples on 28 March. The introduction of the Scottish routes makes bmi the biggest provider of domestic air links from London.
The airline also announced developments on its regional network. New services from Manchester to Norwich and East Midlands Airport to Aberdeen will launch on 26 January, with Glasgow-Knock starting on 15 March.
á bmibaby announced that it is to continue its backing of the Cardiff Blues Rugby Union team. The deal sees bmibaby`s logo emblazoned on the front of the club`s shirts and on the collar and the north stand of the Arms Park will continue to be known as `The bmibaby stand`.
á Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) statistics showed that almost 80 per cent of bmibaby flights between Glasgow and East Midlands Airport departed on time throughout 2003, a record unequalled by any other airline throughout the Midlands.