Bmibaby Closes Operations

bmibaby, a subsidiary of UK-based British Midland Airways Limited (bmi), has closed its operations, as of September 9, 2012, as its new owners, International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, failed to find a buyer for the company.

It was hoped that a buyer would come forward to take on the loss-making airline and its staff, but IAG warned that if that option failed, the company would close. The company’s operations have been closely controlled, with flights being reduced from early June this year.

In a statement the airline said, ‘On September 9th 2012, bmibaby flew its last ever flight. Thanks to everyone who has flown with us over the years. It has been so much fun, baby!’

The airline has ceased its operations after IAG carried out a 90-day consultation process with 450 its employees.

Bmibaby was launched in 2002 by Bmi, as a low cost airline operating from UK airports. The airline was previously owned by Lufthansa, a German airline company, and was only recently sold to British International Airlines Group (IAG). The airline had operated with a fleet of 14 B737 aircraft, providing around 700 services per week.

The routes that the airline flew will be operated by other UK based airlines, including Flybe and Monarch, from East Midlands airport.

Flybe has recently expanded its flights from East Midlands Airport, offering new services to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

IAG has previously sold a sister airline of bmibaby, Bmi Regional, to Scotland based Sector Aviation, for £8 million.

Bmibaby to Shut Operations in September

The UK-based airline holding company, International Airlines Group (IAG), has announced its plans to terminate the operations of its low cost airline, Bmibaby.

Bmibaby, a subsidiary of UK-based British Midland Airways Limited (bmi), is to close its operations from September 2012.

British Airways, also owned by IAG, will be offering work to around 1,500 of Bmi’s 2,700 staff, including pilots and cabin crew. Currently, around 87 pilots and 125 cabin crew members have been absorbed by British Airways.

Bmi, an airline that was previously owned by Lufthansa, a German airline company, has only recently been acquired by IAG. Previously IAG had announced that it would be closing the operations of Bmibaby, reportedly due to its inability to sell the loss-making airline. The Bmibaby operations have been reduced in the last three months, and in September 2012, they will cease altogether.

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive officer said, ‘We completed the employee consultation on August 1 and we have decided to close Bmibaby with effect from September 9.’

The acquisition has opened up 12 London Heathrow Airport slots, which have been given up by British Airways, as part of its agreement to receive approval for the deal from the European Commission.

Said Walsh, ‘We don’t know who is going to take them up (the airport slots). But they are unlikely to be taken up before the start of the summer season which is at the end of March next year.’

Currently all Bmi flights are being offered from British Airways products catalogue, and the airline is being managed by British Airways.

Jet2.com Announces Eight New Routes from East Midlands Airport

Jet2.com, a UK-based low-cost airline operating out of Leeds Bradford Airport, has announced new routes to cover the gap left by the suspension of operations by the airline, bmibaby, in the UK.

The airline is offering eight new destinations from East Midlands Airport, including Dubrovnik, in Croatia; Menorca, and Ibiza, in Spain; Nice, in France; Larnaca, in Cyprus; and Gran Canaria, in Canary Islands; as well as ski routes to Chambery, in France; and Geneva, in Switzerland. The new routes are part of the airline’s Winter 2012 and Summer 2013 programme.

To serve the new routes, the airline will be using an additional 737 aircraft from East Midlands airport for the summer of 2013, increasing capacity to around half a million seats, or a 36 percent increase.

Ian Doubtfire, the airline managing director, said, ‘Many local travellers have been affected by the decision to cancel bmibaby operations from East Midlands Airport. This is why we have decided today to launch our great value flights to eight new popular destinations, including the ski gateways of Chambery and Geneva. It is important to us that we give people continuity and ensure they can still enjoy travelling to their favourite destinations from their local airport.

It is undoubtedly a very exciting time for us at East Midlands Airport as we celebrate our second anniversary. We’ve been thrilled with the success of the past year but are very much looking forward to the next year, which will bring to the region more fantastic destinations, a new aircraft, even more capacity plus a further jobs boost. We are committed to East Midlands Airport and to giving our local passengers an unrivalled choice of city, sun and ski destinations.’

Flybe to Supplement Bmibaby Route Cancellations

Following Ryanair’s recent announcement, Flybe, a UK-based airline company, has announced new flights to supplement bmibaby routes affected by the sudden halt of operations.

Earlier, bmibaby, an airline subsidiary of UK-based British Midland Airways Limited (bmi), reported closing down its operations in phases, with the initial phase commencing from June 2012.

Flybe is offering to bring forward its earlier announced plans to start new routes from East Midlands airport to early summer, to take care of bmibaby passengers stranded by its ceasing of operations.

The new routes from East Midlands to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands; Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France; Jersey; as well as Edinburgh and Glasgow, in Scotland; will now commence from June 10, 2012.

Andrew Strong, managing director of Flybe UK, said, ‘We have been surprised at Bmibaby’s decision to close some of its routes within just six weeks time. As a result, we are doing everything we can to work with our airport partners in ensuring that those passengers wanting to travel from East Midlands Airport are not left stranded.

We realise that many passengers rely on East Midlands for their regional and European travel. We are therefore pleased that we can offer them continuity of service with increased weekday frequency on our Belfast City service and that our flexible special offer over the next few days will facilitate urgent bookings to take place with due peace of mind.

Flybe has long had a desire to bring to the East Midlands the specialist long term and stable regional air services that we have brought to virtually every major UK regional airport over the last 25 years. We are confident that the measures we have taken today should ensure that passengers experience little or no service disruption on what are crucially important links for the East Midlands economy.’

Ryanair Steps in With Rescue Fares to Help Stranded bmibaby Passengers

Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, is offering a new fare deal for passengers already booked with the airline, bmibaby, following bmibaby’s plan to wind up operations, starting with its imminent summer schedule.

bmibaby, a subsidiary of UK-based British Midland Airways Limited (bmi), is to close its operations in phases, the initial phase commencing from June 2012, and the final phase ending in September 2012.

Ryanair is stepping up its summer schedule to offer stranded bmibaby passengers booked from the Belfast and Birmingham airports rescue fares commencing from £29.99 one way.

The airline is working with British International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, and current owner of bmibaby, to accommodate bmibaby passengers on a priority basis. Passengers with confirmed bmibaby bookings on the routes between Belfast and Birmingham, to Glasgow, London, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Ibiza, Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma, may apply for a corresponding booking with Ryanair.

The fares are available until May 20, 2012, at www.ryanair.com/member/ryanairbmibabyfare.html, and will remain valid for travel between June 11 and October 27, 2012. Passengers will have to provide details of their original bmibaby booking reference and their itinerary to take advantage of the offer.

The company head of communications, Stephen McNamara, said, ‘Ryanair is offering to rescue the summer travel plans of passengers who have had their BMI Baby flights to/from Belfast and Birmingham cancelled by allowing them to reach their final destination on Ryanair flights from Derry, Dublin or East Midlands at fares from just £29.99 one way.’

bmibaby Winding up Operations

bmibaby, a subsidiary of UK-based British Midland Airways Limited (bmi), is to close its operations.

Bmi is an airline previously owned by Lufthansa, a German airline company, and recently sold to British International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways.

IAG will reportedly be closing the bmibaby operation due to it being unable to sell the loss-making airline. Operations are currently being controlled, with flights being reduced from early June 2012.

In a statement, the airline said, ‘As part of the review and as a preliminary measure, we have had to make changes to our summer 2012 schedule and cancel a number of routes.

We will continue to operate bmibaby flights to the majority of our summer destinations from East Midlands and Birmingham airports until Sunday, September 9, 2012.

We recognise this news may be frustrating for customers and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will do all we can to keep you up-to-date with the latest information and make the process as smooth as possible.’

According to the statement, the company is currently in a discussion with its 470 employees to ‘to review future options for the bmibaby business’.

The interim managing director of bmi, Peter Simpson, said, ‘bmibaby has delivered high levels of operational performance and customer service, but has continued to struggle financially, losing more than £100 million in the last four years. In the consultation process, we will need to be realistic about our options.

To help stem losses as quickly as possible and as a preliminary measure, we will be making reductions to bmibaby’s flying programme from June. We sincerely apologise to all customers affected and will be providing full refunds and doing all we can with other airlines to mitigate the impact of these changes.’

bmibaby Recreate ‘The Grand Tour of Europe’

bmibaby are recreating the centuries old ‘The Grand Tour of Europe’ for the 21st Century.

Since the 1600s travelers have completed an ambitious itinerary of Europe’s best sites and landmarks, known as ‘The Grand Tour of Europe’.

bmibaby have recreated the tour using social media to inspire 21st Century customers to visit historical and popular locations in ten top bmibaby destinations.

The low costs airline’s latest tour uses Gowalla to set the itinary as a fun challenge, with a fantastic prize – the first person to complete the tour will be rewarded with unlimited flights on the bmibaby network for a whole year!

The tour stretches across Europe, with highlights including; Faro Lighthouse, Kolner Dom Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle and Prague’s Old Town Square.

Julian Carr, managing director, bmibaby, said:

“The Grand Tour of Europe is a fantastic way for our customers to get the most out of their trip with bmibaby, discovering places that they would not have usually discovered and being able to share their adventures with family and friends at the same time.”

bmibaby now have Gowalla check in locations at all 39 bmibaby destination airports as well as at their five bases: Birmingham Airport, Cardiff Airport, East Midlands Airport, Manchester Airport and Belfast City Airport.

bmibaby recently became the first European airline to integrate location based network Gowalla into its communications by creating a unique customer loyalty reward system. The initiative gives customers chance to be rewarded for their loyalty each time they fly with the airline. Each month, a customer who has checked-in with Gowalla earns a great prize courtesy of the bmibaby.

Past tours created by bmibaby on Gowalla include the ‘Grand Tour of Belfast’ and the ‘Grand tour of Newquay’ with more destinations scheduled for 2011.

bmibaby will be working with Gowalla on other upcoming projects and destination tours in 2011 – look out for more details coming soon.

Step by Step Guide to taking part!

Step one: Arrive at airport
Step two: If you don’t already have the app download Gowalla apps (compatible with iPhone, Andriod and blackberry phones)
Step three: Search your nearby ‘Spots’ and check in at bmibaby check in desk
Step four: Whenever you fly with bmibaby be sure to check in at the bmibaby check in desk to be in with a better chance of winning the monthly rewards!
Step five: When at your final destination use the Gowalla app to learn more about the city around you, document and update your friends and family on your adventures! Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for bmibaby Gowalla tours coming soon in Belfast and other European destinations TBC.
Step six: To take part in bmibaby’s ‘Grand tour of Europe’ visit all of the following destinations in any order! Don’t forget to check in to the bmibaby check in desks as you go!

• Link to tour: TBC
• Prague – Old Town Square
• Cologne – Kolner Dom Cathedral
• Belfast – Titanic Dock
• Edinburgh – Edinburgh Castle
• Paris – Eiffel Tower
• Amsterdam – Canal Cruise
• Knock – River Shannon
• Jersey – Jersey War Tunnels
• Faro – Faro Lighthouse
• Malaga – Plaza de la Cathedral