bmi regional to launch new Newcastle-Brussels flight

UK-based airline, bmi regional, is set to launch its new jet service to Brussels, which starts on March 3.

The new route from Newcastle Airport will connect North East travellers to Belgium when it begins in five weeks’ time, with fares from £76 per person one way. In addition to benefiting thousands of North East travellers heading to Belgium, the service is also expected to create a positive impact for the regional economy through inbound tourism.

Cathal O’Connell, CEO at bmi regional, said: ‘This is our first route from Newcastle International and we’re delighted to provide the only direct flight for travellers from the North East of England to the Belgian capital.

‘Brussels has so much to offer for leisure travellers such as a vibrant cultural offering and beautiful surroundings such as the Grand Place – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and traditional Flemish houses. As well as Brussels itself, travellers can make use of the excellent Belgian rail services running from Brussels Airport to reach Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp with ease.’

Dave Laws, chief executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘The new route is already proving popular with both leisure and business passengers. Belgium is an interesting country to visit with much to see and do. There is far more to Belgium than just delicious chocolate and great beers.’

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said; ‘The growing number of airlines choosing Newcastle International Airport signals a real confidence both in the airport and the destination. bmi regional’s new Brussels flight is positive news for the tourism sector and the business community.

‘NewcastleGateshead and the wider region remains an attractive destination for city break visitors and those interested in doing business here. bmi regional’s new double daily service will gather a lot of support from businesses here in the North East and in Belgium.

‘It’s extremely encouraging to welcome a new airline and a brand new route that will continue growth in inbound tourism in NewcastleGateshead and the North East.’

bmi regional offers a full in-flight service including complimentary food and drinks on board, as well as allowing 20kg of checked baggage per person and 30 minute check-in at airports.

bmi regional’s January sale to end this Sunday

bmi regional has said that its biggest ever January sale, offering discounts of up to 30 percent on 250,000 seats, is set to end this Sunday, January 19.

With its claim to be the UK’s most punctual scheduled airline, bmi regional is offering flights that start from £39.99 one way, and also offers a huge travel window – from March 1 to October 26, 2014. Prices have been slashed on flights to Milan, Brussels and Frankfurt. All fares include 20kg checked baggage and full in-flight-at-seat bar and snack service.

The offer ends ahead of what is called ‘Blue Monday’, reputedly the most depressing day of the year, and which falls on January 20.

Holidaymakers and travellers can choose from six countries across Europe for the discounted (one way) flights, including:

From East Midlands or Newcastle to Brussels from £69.99 – Emerging as a trendy venue for short weekend getaways, Brussels has more to offer than its chocolate and beer. Officially nicknamed ‘the European Village’, it is a centre of European culture, with almost 90 museums, attractive parks with cheap and easy public transport and affordable hotel accommodation.

From Bristol to Frankfurt from £69.99 – Germany’s fifth-largest city, Frankfurt is an ideal weekend destination for art lovers. From the Stadel museum to the tiny Museum of Applied Art, the city’s riverside has several galleries, besides the embankment’s Saturday flea market for the travelling shopaholics.

From Bristol to Milan (Malpensa) from £69.99 – A financial hub, Milan is a paradise for shopping, football, opera, nightlife and fashion. The city has the best of both ultra modern and breathtakingly ancient, with more than 26 centuries of history and heritage to explore.

From Aberdeen to Oslo from £99.99 – The world’s winter capital offers the best cross-country ski trails; ice skating and tobogganing for the sporting enthusiast, as well as many locations to shop, dance, dine or explore its culture.

Furthermore, the 2014 bmi sale includes Manchester to Aberdeen and Aberdeen to Manchester from £39.99; Bristol to Aberdeen and Aberdeen to Bristol from £69.99 and Bristol to Munich, also from £69.99.

bmi regional to cut five routes

bmi regional, which claims to be the UK’s most punctual airline, has decided to terminate five routes from Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester airports after a review of its operations.

Flights from Manchester to Edinburgh and Antwerp, from Edinburgh to Copenhagen and Brussels, and from Birmingham to Billund, Denmark, will no longer operate. The Manchester – Edinburgh, and Manchester – Antwerp services will cease on November 29, Birmingham – Billund ends on December 31, and Edinburgh – Copenhagen and Edinburgh- Brussels will finish on January 6, 2014.

Cathal O’Connell, CEO at bmi regional, said: ‘We would like to reassure all our customers booked to fly with us over the next few months on the four routes that are that we will be in touch with them to agree a refund or alternative where available’.

The former subsidiary of British Midland International, which has operated as an independent airline since October 2012, will keep Aberdeen and Bristol as its main bases.

O’Connell said: ‘Over the last year, we have rebuilt our infrastructure and systems as an independent airline, and reshaped our operating network. We have built Bristol into a major new base, targeted the growing oil and gas business through our increased Aberdeen network and launched new domestic services in Norway. Our non-scheduled charter business has had a huge increase in ad hoc work and flying for other carriers (‘wet lease’), for instance, with Flyglinjen in Sweden.’

The restructuring will enable aircraft to be released for the recently announced Newcastle-Brussels service and to strengthen the company’s charter business. The new Brussels service is just part of five new routes launched in the last eight weeks: Aberdeen-Oslo, Aberdeen-Kristiansund, and Stavanger to Harstad and Tromso.

‘The performance of the new routes has met expectations, whilst parts of the legacy bmi regional network are challenged due to the loss of feed traffic and competitive factors’, said O’Connell. ‘As a result, we are going to rebalance the network to concentrate on our new routes, increase our presence internationally to take advantage of the oil and gas industry, and significantly enhance our charter offering’.

bmi regional has started discussions with staff and union representatives with a view to minimising job losses where possible. ‘We have started consultations with our employees in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester, which will include redeployment, with the opportunity to move to one of our other crew bases. We expect no net job losses as a result of the move,’ O’Connell said.

bmi regional wins ERAA’s ‘Silver Airline of the Year’ award

British regional airline, bmi regional, has won the prestigious Silver Airline of the Year award at the annual European Regions Airline Association (ERAA) conference in Salzburg, Austria.

Claimed to be the UK’s most punctual airline, bmi regional, a former subsidiary of British Midland International (BMI), became independent from BMI in June 2012, and established its own operational, commercial and support infrastructure within four months. Within a year, bmi regional has launched 12 new routes across the UK and Europe, including routes from the UK to Hamburg, Milan, Munich, Toulouse, Gothenburg, Lyon and Billund.

The judging panel, consisting of independent industry experts including former airline CEOs and aviation journalists, commended the way bmi regional has re-launched itself as a successful standalone operator.

Cathal O’Connell, CEO of bmi regional, said: ‘Winning this award is a special honour for the airline. It is a testament to the commitment of every member of the team at bmi regional in the eighteen months since we became an independent airline: what we have achieved in the last year or so has been nothing short of incredible. The airline has demonstrated how a dedicated team can act quickly and decisively to implement the commercial and operational infrastructure necessary to create a flexible and efficient airline. I would like to personally thank the bmi regional team for all their hard work, and, of course, our customers and trade partners for their loyalty and support during this huge transition period.’

He added: ‘bmi regional now has the agility of a start-up business with the heritage of a great brand, whilst continuing to deliver a quality offering to our customers across eight European countries. This award is especially meaningful for bmi regional because it comes directly from our peers in the airline business.’

Commenting on bmi regional’s receipt of the award, the judging panel said: ‘The airline has managed to survive and develop through a dramatic period of transformation. Their re-launch and cutover to a stand-alone airline was effectively executed in a short timeframe. It has established itself as a reliable airline with an expanding network.’

Shaun Browne, aviation director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that bmi regional has been recognised and awarded Silver Airline of the year at the annual European Regions Airline Association (ERAA) conference. Since bmi regional developed an airline base at Bristol Airport they have worked hard to appeal to both business and leisure travellers and encourage additional inbound visitors to the South West and South Wales regions. This award is a demonstration of their hard work and commitment during the recent transition period.’

The ERAA Airline of the Year Award is the most widely recognised industry award in the aviation sector today.

UK’s bmi regional starts new Aberdeen – Oslo service

bmi regional, claimed to be the UK’s most punctual airline, is set to launch a new scheduled service between Aberdeen and the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on October 28, 2013.

The new Oslo service will operate from Aberdeen International Airport as a single daily flight from Monday to Friday and on Sundays, and will be operated with a 37-seat Embraer 135 jet aircraft. Flights will depart Aberdeen at 1605, arriving in Oslo at 1845, and depart Oslo at 1915, arriving in Aberdeen at 2000, all times local. Booking is now available via the airline’s www.bmiregional.com website and travel agents. Fares start from GBP99 one way and GBP175 return. From Oslo, fares start from NOK999 one way or NOK1999 return.

There are currently no direct flights between Aberdeen and Oslo. While leisure travellers may benefit from the direct access between two key city destinations, the decision to start the service was prompted by demands from the oil and gas industry, the airline said.

Cathal O’Connell, chief executive of bmi regional said: ‘We are delighted to be launching a direct scheduled service between the cities of Aberdeen and Oslo. Both locations are strategic hubs for oil and gas activity and we believe our flights will offer significant time and efficiency savings for businesses in the North-east of Scotland and Norway.’

Carol Benzie, commercial director at Aberdeen International Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to see bmi regional growing strongly at Aberdeen and really reflecting the demand in the market. Oslo is a key location for the North-east business community as well as being a great leisure route for both inbound and outbound travellers.’

Ranked number one in terms of quality of life amongst European cities, Oslo also offers a range of cultural and natural attractions. Steve Harris, chief executive of VisitAberdeen, said: ‘We are delighted that the opportunities to attract tourists to Aberdeen through Aberdeen International Airport continue to grow and that bmi regional, in particular, continues to expand into Scandinavia at a real pace. Aberdeen is fast becoming recognised as Scotland’s weekend city, where great value exists in hotels and elsewhere. The timings of this service will help us to develop that market.’

The new route announcement comes after bmi regional recently launched direct, scheduled flights between Aberdeen and Kristiansund in Norway. Earlier this month, the airline also announced that it would operate scheduled services between Stavanger and northern Norway from January 2014.

Other than its recently launched Kristiansund service, bmi regional operates flights from Aberdeen to Bristol, Manchester, Norwich and Esbjerg in Denmark.

New European routes for BMI Regional

BMI Regional, a British regional airline that operates scheduled services across the UK and Europe from its base at East Midlands Airport, has announced six new routes to European destinations.

The new routes are based out of Birmingham and Bristol in the UK, and between them the two airports will benefit from the creation of 100 new jobs. Bristol is gaining services to Munich and Hannover in Germany and Milan, Italy, while Birmingham gains routes to Toulouse and Lyon in France and Gothenburg in Sweden. In addition, the airline is increasing the capacity on its route from Bristol to Frankfurt in Germany.

Commenting on the expansion, BMI Regional’s chief executive, Cathal O’Connell, said, ‘We are very proud to launch six new routes from Birmingham and Bristol to Gothenburg, Lyon, Toulouse, Hannover, Munich and Milan. BMI Regional has already created over 100 new jobs with these new routes in the southwest and the Midlands.

‘These routes are an indication of our commitment to UK regions and a significant investment in Bristol and Birmingham; we expect to continue to significantly increase employment and create a better network for both leisure and business travellers from the Midlands.

‘The launch of these six routes is a continuation of BMI Regional’s promise to serve key economic and tourism hubs across Europe. These new routes are incremental to the four new routes rolled out since BMI Regional established itself as an independent airline in 2012.’

Birmingham Airport’s chief executive, Paul Kehoe, commented, ‘We’re delighted to welcome BMI Regional to Birmingham Airport. Not only will new flights provide links to some currently un-served European markets from the Midlands, its arrival will also create new jobs and open up better trade links between Birmingham, France, Sweden and Denmark.’

Bmi Regional Announces Three New Routes to Europe

Bmi Regional, a UK based airline, has launched three new routes from Birmingham Airport in the UK to continental European destinations.

The airline has launched new routes between Birmingham and the three European cities of Gothenburg (Sweden), Lyon (France) and Toulouse (France). The services commence on May 13, 2013, with six flights per week for each route.

Cathal O’Connell, the airline’s chief executive officer, said, ‘The launch of these routes to Gothenburg, Lyon and Toulouse is a continuation of bmi regional’s promise to serve key economic and tourism hubs across Europe.

Launching our first services from Birmingham Airport is an indication of our commitment to UK regions and a significant investment to position the airline for growth.

These new routes are incremental to the four new routes rolled out since bmi regional established itself as an independent airline in 2012 (Bristol to Aberdeen, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Manchester to Antwerp).

bmi regional’s choice of destinations is based on business and leisure customer demand. Toulouse is a significant base for the aerospace business, Gothenburg and Lyon are home to major car manufacturing sites as well as high-tech industries. The three great European cities are great destinations for leisure customers as well, boasting Unesco Heritage Sites, amazing foods and great outdoor activities nearby.

With fares starting from £59 each way, we also expect to see a boost in both inbound visitors to the Birmingham and the Midlands.’

Welcoming the decision, William Pearson, the aviation development director at Birmingham Airport, said, ‘It is fantastic news that bmi regional has chosen to launch these routes as its first services from Birmingham.

These three new routes, operated on an Embraer, are currently un-served from the Airport, meaning passengers have even more choice from their airport to visit these fantastic destinations.’

Bmi Regional Announces Commencement of Service with New Flight Codes

Bmi Regional, a UK based airline, will be commencing its operations shortly, and has announced a change of its previously used BD flight codes to new BM flight codes.

The airline, which was previously a part of the British Midland International (bmi) brand, a UK-based airline, has recently been acquired by a financial consortium and will be flying independently.

Sector Aviation Holdings, a Scotland-based holding company, is the current owner and operator of the airline, which launched its inaugural services from Aberdeen to Bristol, and Manchester to Antwerp, from October 29, 2012. The company fleet of Embraer jet aircraft will operate the new twice-daily services.

The airline chairman, Ian Woodley, said, ‘We are delighted to have acquired the BM code and its introduction marks another step forward in our ongoing development strategy by ensuring our flights are instantly recognisable.

As a brand we have a tremendous heritage that has been built on providing great customer service. We want to see a return to the core values which people associate with a quality flying experience and are looking to build on our reputation for excellence in all elements of our service going forward.’

Bmi Regional airline will be operating out of its head office at East Midlands Airport, using the new flight codes. It will be providing around 40 new jobs to the neighbouring area’s economy.

In a website update, the airline says, ‘Late October we will be introducing our first dedicated edition of our own in-flight magazine, which will bring you up to speed with the latest news and offers from bmi regional. Look out for the first ‘collector’s item’ edition!

In November we’ll be launching a new frequent flyer programme. The old programme has been acquired by British Airways, and further details on the new scheme will be shared in due course.’