today announced major expansion plans for its operations in the Midlands.ÊThis move consolidates bmibaby’s position as the largest carrier operating from Birmingham International Airport.bmibaby is to establish a new base at Birmingham, initially using three aircraft to serve the new routes, starting in January 2005. More aircraft are to be based at the airport for the summer, offering up to 20 destinations. The Birmingham services will be in addition to its existing base at Nottingham East Midlands Airport, consolidating the carrier’s position as the largest airline in the Midlands.
The investment will represent a growth of more than 35 per cent in the airline’s route network and aircraft fleet in 2005, and will mean the creation of more than 150 new jobs in the Midlands.
Tony Davis, managing director of bmibaby, said:
“bmibaby already carries more passengers from the Midlands than any other airline, with our current services from Nottingham East Midlands Airport.
“With the creation of a new base at Birmingham, we are consolidating our position as the region’s most popular carrier.Ê By next year, we will be serving up to 40 routes from the Midlands, offering massive choice to travellers throughout the region.
“On routes where passengers have a choice between other low-cost carriers or bmibaby, we have consistently out-performed the competition.Ê Now we’re going to do the same at Birmingham where our route network will complement our services at Nottingham East Midlands Airport.”
Austin Reid, chief executive officer of the bmi group said:
“We’re investing in the growth of bmibaby because of the strength and performance of the bmibaby brand. Our new base at Birmingham gives customers across the Midlands unrivalled choice and will provide a strong platform for further growth.”
bmibaby will announce its new Birmingham destinations next week with flights going on sale at the same time. Passengers can register online at bmibaby.com to be notified of routes and fares.Ê The first Birmingham services will launch early in 2005.
Orders for additional aircraft will also be finalised over the summer, expanding the current fleet of 14 Boeing 737 aircraft.
The new Birmingham base will add to bmibaby’s current operations at London Gatwick, Nottingham East Midlands, Manchester, Cardiff, Teesside, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.Ê The airline currently operates 52 routes and carried three million passengers in 2003, in only its first full year of operation.