Second anniversary as independent carrier; airline set for best summer yet after robust start to year.
June 2014 marked the second anniversary of operation as an independent airline for bmi regional, and the carrier is set for sustained growth through 2014. While 2013 was a year of significant development and investment for the airline as it launched new routes and created new jobs, this year bmi regional has continued to grow its UK and European route network, strengthened existing services, and established a portfolio of codeshare agreements with Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines.
Looking forward, bmi regional plans to further build its UK services and continue to grow its charter and wet lease divisions in addition to further network expansion within Europe. From 19 August, the Frankfurt to Karlstad service – operated as a codeshare route with Lufthansa – will increase to double daily, and on 1 September bmi regional will commence two new routes within Europe, introducing services from Berlin (Tegel) and Gothenburg to Kalmar Oland Airport in southern Sweden, six days a week. The airline already operates scheduled services within Europe from Gothenburg to Stavanger and from Bremen to Toulouse. Also in September, the airline’s East Midlands to Brussels and Aberdeen to Bristol routes will see increased frequency.
Cathal O’Connell, Chief Executive, bmi regional, said: “Thus far in 2014 we have seen significant traffic growth across our route network, especially Bristol and our oil and gas services from Aberdeen, and expect this to continue through the rest of the year. Last year saw significant development and investment to establish our standalone business, and this year we’ve expanded the network both within Europe and from the UK and established partnerships with global carriers.”
He concluded: “In only two years we have successfully established a sustainable airline business which provides vital domestic and international links for business and leisure travellers, fosters inward investment and supports tourism, and continues to create employment opportunities.”
Highlights for the first half of 2014 include:
- Jan 2014: Launched Gothenburg to Stavanger route, tapping into oil and gas business within Scandinavia, and building on existing Birmingham – Gothenburg success;
- March 2014: bmi regional named UK’s most punctual airline for ninth consecutive year (based on Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ahead of BA CityFlyer, KLM, CityJet , SAS, Aer Lingus, Flybe and easyJet
- March 2014: the launch of Newcastle-Brussels service, connecting the north-east of the UK with the rest of the world through Brussels, and providing the only direct flight for from the north east of England to the Belgium;
- April 2014: announcement of codeshare agreements with Lufthansa and Brussels airlines on four routes: Bristol to Munich and Frankfurt, East Midlands and Newcastle to Brussels. These code shares adding Bristol, Newcastle and East Midlands to the global network of the German and Belgian national carriers, providing a link to the hundreds of global destinations from regional airports;
- April 2014: expansion of sales team in Bristol and Aberdeen, with Lynne McGrath as Sales Executive for South and Middle England, and Victoria Evans for Scotland;
- May 2014: announcement of continued expansion into mainland Europe, with new scheduled flights linking Karlstad in Sweden with Frankfurt Airport in Germany – the first direct scheduled air link between Karlstad and Germany, operated as a code share with Lufthansa;
- May 2014: New, refreshed in-flight food and beverage offering launched to ensure passengers enjoy the best of British produce on all flights;
- June 2014: more extension of the route network in Germany and Sweden with new scheduled flights connecting Kalmar Oland Airport directly with Germany’s capital, Berlin, and Gothenburg, commencing September 2014;
- June 2014: First ever scheduled flight using biofuel from Sweden to mainland Europe takes place on bmi regional flight;
- June 2014: second anniversary marked with announcement of plans to boost Bristol cabin crew base by 30 per cent.
Highlights in 2013 include:
- Flying more than 10 million kilometres and carrying almost 500,000 passengers;
- Launching a range of successful routes from Bristol, Birmingham and Aberdeen and also from Bremen to Toulouse, its first ever service on the continent, to position the airline for growth outside of the UK;
- Launching a wide range of new services providing improved connectivity to the oil and gas industry, including Kristiansund and Oslo in Norway to Aberdeen;
- Doubling of the private charter and corporate shuttle business – catering for major corporates, oil and gas clients, sports teams and entertainment headliners;
- Awarded Airline of the Year at the prestigious European Region Airlines Association (ERAA) Annual Awards in Salzburg, Austria;
- Achieving the accolade of most punctual airline in the UK for the eighth consecutive year, and claiming the same title for the ninth consecutive year for 2013 (figures released spring 2014);
- Recognised as easiest airline website to book in the UK, according to research undertaken by the editorial team of Daily Telegraph, based on the number of mouse clicks and time taken to book a flight, beating 12 other short-haul UK airlines;
- Developing its contract flying capability, operating on behalf of other carriers through wet-lease as a result of the reputation for operational excellence and the quality of the bmi regional brand;
- Created almost 100 new jobs across its operation, in particular East Midlands, Aberdeen and Bristol, supporting its core infrastructure and network expansion.
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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.