||BRITISH MIDLAND INTERNATIONAL
||Currently Not Operational
||+44 (1332) 854 000
||+44 (1332) 854 662
Click below for data links:
BMA-2004-02 NEWS A319
BMA-2004-02 NEWS A319-131
BMA-2004-03 NEWS A319 1ST DLVRY
BMA-2004-04 A330-243 SAL LIVERY
BMA-2004-04 NEWS LHR
BMA-2004-05 NEWS A319
BMA-2004-10 NEWS ARSENAL
BMA-2004-11 A320 FAMILY
BMA-2005-01 2004 STATS
BMA-2008-03 UK-AIRPORTS RULES08
BMA-2009-01 2008 LOSS
FOUNDED IN 1938 AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1953. bmi (BMA) WAS "BMI BRITISH MIDLAND." DOMESTIC, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED & CHARTER, PASSENGER & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
DONINGTON HALL, CASTLE DONINGTON
DERBY, DE74 2SB, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
Great Britain (United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland) was established in 1066, it covers an area of 242,432 sq km, its population is 59 million, its capital city is London and its official language is English.
JANUARY 1989: ACCDT: BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) 737-300 CRASHED ON LANDING AT EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT = 55 FATALITIES (WRONG ENGINE WAS SHUT DOWN IN ERROR, WHEN OTHER HAD A PROBLEM, RESULTING IN BOTH WITH NO POWER).
DECEMBER 1992: CODE SHARES WITH AIR CANADA (ACN), ALITALIA (ALI), AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL), AUSTRIAN AIRLINES (AUL), IBERIA (IBE), MALAYSIA AIRLINES (MAS) SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS), (TAP) PORTUGAL, UNITED AIRLINES (UAL), CATHAY PACIFIC (CAT), & VIRGIN ATLANTIC (VAA).
PARENT COMPANY IS AIRLINES OF BRITAIN HOLDINGS.
JANUARY 1993: 1992 = +24.8% (RPK) (TRAFFIC), +15.3% PASSENGERS (PAX).
NOV 1993: TO REPLACE DC-9 FLEET WITH 8/3 737-500'S, EX-(SAS).
APRIL 1994: NOW HAS 14 737-500'S (CFM56-3C1), ENGINE MAINTENANCE BY AVIALL CALEDONIAN, PRESTWICK, SCOTLAND.
JANUARY 1995: 1994 = +$7.04 MILLION (+$1.76 MILLION) (NET PROFIT): +11.2% (RPK) TRAFFIC, +2% (ASK) CAPACITY; +10.9% PASSENGERS (PAX).
FEBRUARY 1995: INCDT: BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) 737-400 HAD OIL LOSS IN BOTH ENGINES SHORTLY AFTER TAKE OFF FROM EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT. HIGH-PRESSURE, ROTOR DRIVE COVERS WERE NOT REPLACED BY MECHANICS (MT), FOLLOWING TURBINE-BLADE BORESCOPE INSPECTIONS PERFORMED ON THE NIGHT BEFORE.
JULY 1995: 1ST 6 MONTHS = 2.35 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (WITH +20.8% DOMESTIC & +8.4% INTERNATIONAL).
SEPTEMBER 1995: 2ND F 70 (TAY 620-15) DELIVERY.
NOVEMBER 1995: NEW INTERNET, BOOKING SYSTEM: "CYBERSEAT" DESIGNED BY NOVUS = (http://www.iflybritishmidland.com).
NEW ROUTES TO PRAGUE & ZURICH. ALSO, LEEDS TO PARIS.
MARCH 1996: CODE SHARE WITH AIR JAMAICA (JAM) (A310-300).
MAY 1996: CODE SHARE WITH ROYAL BRUNEI (RBA), TO DUBAI, SINGAPORE & SERI BEGAWAN. ALSO, WITH SRILANKAN (LNK), TO COLUMBO.
1 737-5Y0 (25185) EX-(TES), GUI LEASED (PT050). RELINQUISHED ALL DC-9'S.
JUNE 1996: JOHN ALLEN, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR RESIGNS, AND JOINS AER LINGUS (ARL).
JULY 1996: UK AIR ACCIDENTS INVESTIGATION BRANCH (AAIB), (CAA), FINED (BMA) $232,500 + $38,700 COURT COSTS, FOR "NEGLIGENTLY ENDANGERING LIFE IN FEBRUARY 1995 ENGINE OIL LOSS INCIDENT."
+3 737-300'S & +1 737-400 (FEBRUARY 1997), (GUI) LEASED.
SEPTEMBER 1996: TERRY MCGUIRE, TECHNICAL SERVICES MANAGER RESIGNED. IAIN LACHLAN, ASSIGNED AS TECHNICAL DIRECTOR. BERNARD TASSI, MADE ACTING MANAGER, TECHNICAL SERVICES.
DISCUSSIONS HELD TO FORM A SEPARATE MAINTENANCE COMPANY, TO INCLUDE ALL THE MAINTENANCE FUNCTIONS OF THE 4 AIRLINES OF BRITAIN HOLDINGS (ABH), (BMA), MANX, LOGANAIR, & BUSINESS AIR, TO SEEK 3RD PARTY WORK.
OCTOBER 1996: TO ACQUIRE LARGER AIRPLANES FOR LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) AIRPORT SLOTS (14%).
JANUARY 1997: "(AOG) & EXECUTIVE TRAVEL" MAGAZINE AWARD FOR "BEST UK DOMESTIC AIRLINE."
4,200 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,800 FLIGHT CREW (FC).
MARCH 1997: $1 BILLION, 12 ORDERS A320'S & 8 ORDERS A321'S.
APRIL 1997: CODE SHARE WITH (DLH), LONDON HEATHROW TO BONN, COLOGNE AND ROME FIUMICINO.
1 737-36N (28558), (GUI) LEASED. 1 737-3Q8 (24300), RETURNED TO (ILF.
MAY 1997: 1 737-300 DELIVERY (CFM56-3C1).
JUNE 1997: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1996 = +$11.6 MILLION (+43%) (+$8.1 MILLION): 63.2% LOAD FACTOR (LF) (+1.7), 5.8 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (5.0 MILLION).
1 737-400 DELIVERY.
JULY 1997: 1 737-37Q (28537) (GUI) 6 YEAR LEASED.
AUGUST 1997: MORE "BONDING" WITH AUSTRIAN (AUL), BY CABIN ATTENDANTS WEARING (AUL) UNIFORMS AT LONDON HEATHROW.
SEPTEMBER 1997: EXPANDS CODE SHARE WITH LUFTHANSA (DLH), FROM (LHR) TO BERLIN, DRESDEN, BREMEN, DUSSELDORF, HANNOVER, HAMBURG, AND LEIPZIG.
7 ORDERS (1998) A320 (V2500) & 5 ORDERS (1998) A321-200 (V2500), (ILF) 7 YEAR LEASED.
OCTOBER 1997: 4,500 EMPLOYEES.
TO DRESDEN, VIA COLOGNE/BONN (6TH NEW EUROPEAN DESTINATION THIS YEAR).
NOVEMBER 1997: OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED BRITISH MIDLAND AVIATION SERVICES (BMAS), WITH STUART BALMFORTH, DIRECTOR.
JANUARY 1998: APPLIED TO RESUME LONG-HAUL OPERATIONS TO USA.
1 737-300, LEASED TO GB AIRWAYS (GBA). +2 ORDERS (1999) A321-200 (V2500).
MARCH 1998: 1 A321-200 (V2533-A5) DELIVERY.
APRIL 1998: 5,000 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,800 FLIGHT CREW (FC)).
1997 = +$28.8 MILLION (+$10.2 MILLION): 5.7 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (+7%). 1ST QUARTER = 671 MILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC, 1.35 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC, 1.27 MILLION (PAX).
IN JULY 1998, LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) TO WARSAW (737-500).
"C" CHECK FOR BRAATHENS (BRT) 737-500, VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA) 737-400 CONFIGURATION 162 TO 180 PAX CONVERSION.
1ST 2 A321 DELIVERIES OF 12 & 10 A320'S (3 A321'S BEFORE JULY 1998).
JUNE 1998: MAINTENANCE CONTRACT FOR NEW NORWEGIAN OPERATOR, COLOR AIR (ANW), 2 737-300'S, EX-TACA (TAC), WITH OPERATIONS BY AIR FOYLE (FOY), ON UK AIR OPERATIONS CERTIFICATE (AOC).
BRITISH REGIONAL AIRLINES, BREAKS AWAY FROM SISTER AIRLINE (BMA), WITH 60% FLOATED, 35% RETAINED BY SIR MICHAEL BISHOP, AND 5% BY EMPLOYEES.
CONSIDERING WET-LEASE OF ASIANA (AAR) 747'S, FOR TRANS-ATLANTIC SERVICE.
1 A321-200 (V2533-A5) DELIVERY.
JULY 1998: 60TH ANNIVERSARY!
CODE SHARE WITH VIRGIN ATLANTIC (VAA), ADDS LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) - WARSAW. NOW SHARES 9 EUROPEAN CITIES FROM LONDON.
3RD A321 DELIVERY. 1 CHARTERED TO AIR 2000 (ATZ).
AUGUST 1998: LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) TO WARSAW DAILY CARGO FLIGHT (737-500) = 1,000 KILOGRAMS CAPACITY.
A321-200 (V2500) (835) WET-LEASED TO AIR 2000 (ATZ) (V2533-A5).
SEPTEMBER 1998: RETURNED 737-500 (26419) TO SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS), LEASED TO STERLING (STR).
OCTOBER 1998: NEXT MARCH 1999, LONDON - BUDAPEST. CODE SHARE WITH CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (CAL), ABERDEEN, EDINBURGH, & GLASGOW, VIA MANCHESTER, TO NEW YORK (NEWARK).
1 A321-200 (V2500) (864), DEBIS AIRFINANCE (DEA) 7 YEAR LEASED.
NOVEMBER 1998: 10/5 ORDERS (MAY 1999) ERJ-145'S. PLANS TO ORDER 2 767-300ER'S OR A330-200'S FOR EARLY 2000 DELIVERY. 737-33A (24092) RETURNED TO BABCOCK (BBB), LEASED TO GO FLY (GFL).
DECEMBER 1998: SELECTS 767-300ER FOR LONG-HAUL ROUTES.
THE GOVERNMENT OK'S SERVICE TO MOSCOW.
JANUARY 1999: 2 A321-231'S DELIVERIES (968; 974). 1 A320-231 (934) DELIVERY.
FEBRUARY 1999: SELECTS A318 TO REPLACE ITS FOKKER JETLINE FLEET. TO HAVE ALL AIRBUS FLEET WITH REPLACEMENT OF 737'S BY 2001.
MARCH 1999: 737-400 (PW006) RETURNED TO BABCOCK (BBB). 2 A321-200'S
APRIL 1999: (http://www.iflybritishmidland.com). SITA: EMACOBD.
4,734 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,800 FLIGHT CREW (FC).
1998 PRE-TAX = +11 MILLION POUNDS (+16 MILLION).
3 737-500'S (25160; 25166; 25167), (BBB) 66 MONTH LEASED. "C" CHECKS COMPLETED FOR 1 737-500 (24828) BRAATHENS (BRT), 2 737-300'S (29108; 29109), GB AIRWAYS (GBA) HEAVY MAINTENANCE + (TCAS) INSTALLATION ON 4 F 100'S (11324; 11325; 11326; 11332), BRAATHENS (BRT) MALMO AVIATION. A321-200 (806) TO BE DAMP LEASED TO CONSTELLATION (COT), 6 - 10/99.
MAY 1999: CODE SHARE WITH AIR CANADA (ACN), LONDON TO AMSTERDAM.
1ST 4 MONTHS = 1.09 BILLION (RPK), 1.89 MILLION (FTK), 1.92 MILLION (PAX).
JUNE 1999: 1ST 2 OF 10 EMB-145EU DELIVERIES (136, G-RJXA; 144, G-RGXB). A320-232 (1014, G-MIDY) DELIVERY.
JULY 1999: A321-231 (1045, G-MIDJ) & EMB-145EP (153, G-RJXC).
OCTOBER 1999: LUFTHANSA (DLH), BUYS 20% OF BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA), FROM SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS). (BMA) IS EXPECTED TO JOIN THE "STAR" ALLIANCE (SAL).
BRITISH MIDLAND AVIATION SERVICES: CONTACT: STEVE CLEMENTS, SALES & MARKETING MANAGER: HAS MAINTENANCE HANGARS FOR 2 NARROW BODY AIRPLANES, FOR 737-300/-400/-500'S, DC-9'S, F 70'S, & F 100'S, "A" - "D" CHECKS, INCLUDING CORROSION PREVENTION & CONTROL PROGRAM (CPCP), & STRIP, PAINT.
NOVEMBER 1999: TO FRANKFURT (ERJ-145). STARTS MUNICH - STANSTED (A321, 208 PAX), FOR LUFTHANSA (DLH).
(DLH) BUYS 20%, OF BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA), FOR $148 MILLION.
PLANS TO EXPAND FROM 6,500 EMPLOYEES, TO 10 TO 12,000.
1998 = +$17.84 MILLION (+$27.05 MILLION).
JANUARY 2000: CONDUCTING "C" CHECKS ON GB AIRWAYS (GBA) 737'S.
737-300 (24962), EX-COLOR AIR (ANW), GECAS (GEH) 4 YEAR LEASED. 737-500 (25038) LEASED TO BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB). A321-231 (1174, G-MIDL) DELIVERY. 4/8 ORDERS (2/01) A330-200'S.
MARCH 2000: IN 2000-05, LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) - MADRID/MILAN/ROME. CODE SHARE WITH SPANAIR (SPP), LONDON - MADRID. CODE SHARE WITH LUFTHANSA (DLH), LONDON TO ROME, MILAN, MADRID, NICE, PALMA DE MALLORCA, PARIS, AMSTERDAM AND BRUSSELS + ALL FLIGHTS BETWEEN ENGLAND AND GERMANY. CODE SHARE WITH SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS), LONDON TO SCANDINAVIA. CODE SHARE WITH UNITED AIRLINES (UAL), USA - PORTUGAL.
2 A320-232'S (1177, G-MIDX; 1183, G-MIDW). 2 ORDERS (2001-04) A330-200'S (401; 408), (ILF) 8 YEAR LEASED.
APRIL 2000: NEXT MONTH, LONDON STANSTED - COLOGNE. IN 2000-10, TO CHICAGO, & WASHINGTON DULLES. APPLIES FOR LONDON HEATHROW TO BAHRAIN, DOHA, DUBAI, ISLAMABAD, KARACHI, MEXICO CITY, MONTREAL, MUSCAT, NAIROBI, TORONTO, & VANCOUVER.
4,734 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 1,800 FLIGHT CREW (FC).
1 737-500, 1 A321-231, 1 B AE 126-200 DELIVERIES, & 1 ERJ-145, WET-LEASED TO LUFTHANSA (DLH). A321-231 (1207, G-MIDM) DELIVERY.
MAY 2000: 1999 PRE-TAX = +$21.6 MILLION: 6.6 MILLION (PAX) (+9.6%). 1ST QUARTER = +12.4% PASSENGERS.
JUNE 2000: 737-4Q8 (2239-26280, /92 27 15), RETURNED TO TOMBO (TOM), LEASED TO AIR EUROPA (ARE). 1 B AE 146-200 (E2028), RETURNED B AE, LEASED TO QANTAS (QAN). 1 ERJ-145 (113), SKYWAYS WET-LEASED. 1 ERJ-145 (AE3007A1) (280, G-RJXF) DELIVERY.
JULY 2000: 1999 = +$21.45 MILLION (+$17.84 MILLION): 4.77 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (+29.7%) 6.96 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT; 6.5 MILLION (PAX) (+9.6%); 4,743 EMPLOYEES.
JOINS STAR ALLIANCE, INCLUDING AUSTRIAN AIRLINES (AUL), AIR CANADA (ACN), ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS (ANA), AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ), ANSETT (ANS), MEXICANA (CMA), LAUDA AIR (LAL), LUFTHANSA (DLH), SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS), SINGAPORE AIRLINES (SIA), THAI AIRWAYS (TII), UNITED AIRLINES (UAL), & VARIG (VAR) FOR A "SEAMLESS TRAVEL" EXPERIENCE.
BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) IN-FLIGHT MAGAZINE "VOYAGER" STATES 4 ORDERS A310. +2 ORDERS A320 FOR TOTAL 6.
PAINTS 737-300 (G-BYZJ), A320-200 (G-MIDX) & A321-231 (1174, G-MIDL) IN STAR ALLIANCE LOGO BOX SCHEME. PLANS TO ACQUIRE AS MANY AS 12 A330-200'S.
AUGUST 2000: (KLM) MAINTENANCE CONTRACT FOR "C2" CHECK + CORROSION PREVENTION & CONTROL PROGRAM (CPCP), ON 737-306 (23544), & TYROLEAN 12K/6 YEAR, STRUCTURES CHECK ON 2 F 70'S (11529; 11532).
IAIN LACHLAN, DIRECTOR ENGINEERING, RESIGNED TO JOIN EMIRATES (EAD).
IN 2000-11, LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) - BARCELONA (737, 3/DAY).
OCTOBER 2000: NEXT SUMMER, TO LEASE 1 A330-200 TO SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS), WITH JOINT FLIGHT CREW OPERATIONS, TO BEIJING. 737-33A (1833-24461), RETURNED TO CIT AEROSPACE (TCI), LEASED TO ANSETT (ANS).
NOVEMBER 2000: 1 737-4YO (23868), RETURNED TO AERFI (AFJ), 1 737-5YO (25185), RETURNED TO GUI, LEASED TO RIO-SUL (ROS), & 1 737-33A (24461), RETURNED TO ITOCHU (CIT), LEASED TO ANSETT (ANS).
DECEMBER 2000: LUFTHANSA (DLH), BUYS 20% OF BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA), FROM SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS).
MAY CHANGE ITS NAME TO BRITISH MIDLAND INTERNATIONAL (AS SUGGESTED BY LANDOR ASSOCIATES).
737-53A (24754), RETURNED TO (BBB), LEASED TO BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB).
JANUARY 2001: NEXT MONTH, TO CHANGE ITS NAME FROM "BRITISH MIDLAND AIRWAYS" TO "BRITISH MIDLAND INTERNATIONAL." NEW LIVERY FEATURES A LOWER-CASE "bmi" ON THE TAIL, ABOVE A STYLIZED, LIGHT-BLUE, UNION JACK. A LARGE "BMI" APPEARS JUST AFT OF THE FORWARD PASSENGER DOOR. THE FUSELAGE IS BLUE AND WHITE, WITH RED WINGLETS, AND RED-AND-WHITE NACELLES.
1 A320-232 (1383, G-MIDV) DELIVERY.
FEBRUARY 2001: PLANS SERVICE TO HONG KONG.
EXERCISES OPTIONS FOR 2 ERJ-135, 37 PAX AND 2 ERJ-145, 50 PAX, ALL FOR $270 MILLION. 1 A320-232 (1407, G-MIDU) DELIVERY.
MARCH 2001: BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) COMMUTER, EDINBURGH - BRUSSELS (ERJ-145, 3/DAY).
ALL F 70'S & F 100'S TO BE PHASED OUT IN NEXT 2 YEARS. 2 A320-232 (1418, G-MIDT; 1424, G-MIDS) DELIVERIES.
APRIL 2001: 6,320 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 441 FLIGHT CREW (FC), 1,155 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA), & 715 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT).
CONVERTS OPTION FOR 1 ORDER ERJ-145 IN 2001-06 (9TH DELIVERY).
MAY 2001: 2000 PRE-TAX = +$12 MILLION (-26%): +8.4% PASSENGERS (PAX); +4.5% (ASK) CAPACITY; 64% LF LOAD FACTOR (+2.4).
RECEIVES (UKCAA) APPROVAL FOR A330-200 180 MINUTES EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS).
STARTS TRANSATLANTIC SERVICE TO WASHINGTON (A330). 2ND IN 2001-06, MANCHESTER TO CHICAGO (ORD).
1ST A330-243 DELIVERY, LEASED TO SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS), IN STAR ALLIANCE COLORS. 2 A321-231 (1045), WET-LEASED TO AIR 2000 (ATZ).
JUNE 2001: LAUNCHES ITS 2ND TRANSATLANTIC SERVICE, MANCHESTER TO CHICAGO (ORD) (A330-200). STARTS (ETOPS) FLIGHTS, MANCHESTER - CHICAGO, AND MANCHESTER TO WASHINGTON DC. GOVERNMENT OK'S LONDON GATWICK (LGW) TO CHICAGO (ORD), MIAMI, SEATTLE, & WASHINGTON; MANCHESTER TO DENVER, (SFO), & TORONTO; GLASGOW TO TORONTO; AND LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) TO SAO PAULO.
3RD A330-243 DELIVERY.
AUGUST 2001: DESPITE OBJECTIONS FROM AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL), USA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) OK'S BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) CODE SHARE WITH STAR ALLIANCE PARTNERS UNITED AIRLINES (UAL) & MEXICANA (CMA), BEYOND CHICAGO (ORD) TO 42 USA POINTS + MEXICO CITY & BEYOND WASHINGTON DULLES, TO 25 USA POINTS. CODE SHARE WITH ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS (ANA), LONDON HEATHROW (LHR) TO BELFAST, EDINBURGH, GLASGOW, AND MANCHESTER.
OCTOBER 2001: FOLLOWING GLOBAL AIRLINE INDUSTRY DOWNTURN (9/11), BMI BRITISH MIDLAND(BMA) WILL CUT 600 JOBS, AND REDUCE SHORT-HAUL CAPACITY (ASK'S), BY -20%, AND GROUND 8 AIRPLANES, INCLUDING 6 A321-200'S AND 1 A330-200 (RETURNED TO SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES (SAS), STORED AT TEESIDE.
LAYS OFF 10 SENIOR MANAGERS.
NOVEMBER 2001: 1ST 9 MONTHS = 287M RPK (TRAFFIC) (+32.9%); +38.6% ASK (CAPACITY); 58.3% LF (LOAD FACTOR) (-2.6); 3.96M FTK (FREIGHT TRAFFIC) (+600%).
LEEDS/BRADFORD-BRUSSELS (ERJ 145, 3/DAY) & MANCHESTER - BRUSSELS (B AE 146, 3/DAY). IN 12/01, BIRMINGHAM - BRUSSELS.
BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) AND VIRGIN ATLANTIC (VAA) HAVE CONTRACTED TO BEGIN USING WORLDSPAN'S E-TICKETING SYSTEM IN 2002. (BMA) HAS OPTED TO UPGRADE TO WORLDSPAN'S DIRECT SELL STATUS.
DECEMBER 2001: APPLIES FOR LONDON (LHR) & LONDON GATWICK (LGW) - ST PETERSBURG/TEL AVIV/LARNACA/DETROIT/MIINEAPOLIS, & MANCHESTER - DETROIT/MINNEAPOLIS.
A321-231 (806, G-MIDA) STORED.
JANUARY 2002: 2001 = 1.32B RPK (-27.2%); 2.5M FTK (-13.1%); 2.08M PAX (-2.7%).
FOLLOWING PATTERN OF GO (GFL) AND BUZZ (BZZ), BMI BRITISH MIDLAND (BMA) PLANS TO LAUNCH ITS OWN LOW-FARE CARRIER TO PROTECT ITS HQ OPERATIONS AT EAST MIDLAND AIRPORT. SELECTS HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS AT BARCELONA, NICE, PALMA DE MALLORCA, MALAGA, FARO, AND ALICANTE. TO BE NAMED "bmibaby." WHAT DO YOU CALL A bmibaby PILOT? - A BABYSITTER. TONY DAVIS, HEAD OF bmibaby. WILL START OPERATIONS IN 3/02 WITH 2 737-36N'S AND INCREASE TO 5 WITHIN 2 YEARS. bmibaby (BMI) MANAGEMENT TEAM CURRENTLY COMPRISES 7.
FEBRUARY 2002: bmibaby (BMI) EAST MIDLANDS TO PALMA, NICE, FARO, BARCELONA, MURCIA, DUBLIN, AND MALAGA. USES 2 737-36N'S (28554; 28558).
APRIL 2002: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2001 = +# 12.4M POUNDS (+# 8.2M P): 6.7M PAX (-5.2%).
MAIN BASE: LONDON HEATHROW (LHR). HUB: EAST MIDLANDS (EMA).
MAY 2002: 5th anniversary of Star Alliance: (ACN); (ANZ); (AUL);(BMA); (CMA); (DLH); (LAL); (SAS); (SIA); (TII); Tyrolean; (UAL); & VAR).
bmibaby TO IBIZA (5/week). Leeds/Bradford - Cork (6/week).
July 2002: 2001 = +$15.45M (+$10.74M): 6.52B RPK; 64.9% LF; 6.70M PAX; 32.50M FTK; 6,535 EMPLOYEES (+4.3%).
In 10/02, bmibaby (BMI), Cardiff - Alicante, Faro, Geneva, Jersey, Malaga, Belfast, Edinburgh, & Glasgow, using 2 737-300's offering 112 flights/week. In 11/01, Cardiff - Milan (Bergamo). bmibaby will open a 3rd UK base in 2003, after East Midlands and Cardiff.
September 2002: bmibaby applies for its own air operator's certificate (AOC), so it can stand alone operationally, as an independent airline. To insure its independence from its parent company, it launched the Open Skies online booking system by Navitaire, which is also used by Go (GFL), and JetBlue (JBL).
October 2002: bmibaby (BMI) to Geneva.
BMI British Midland Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO): contact:
Converts 1 A320-200 order (4/04) to 1 A319-100, (ILF) leased.
November 2002: Lufthansa (DLH) acquires another 10% from BBW partnership, for total 30% of BMI British Midland (BMA).
To wet-lease 2 A330-200's (401; 404) to South African Airways (SAA) in 12/02, 1 for a year, and the other for 5 months. Airplanes will be used on Johannesburg, to Milan, and Paris routes. Defers delivery of 4th A330-200.
December 2002: In 5/03, Belfast (City) to Brussels/Paris. In 3/03, bmibaby, East Midlands to Pisa, Cardiff to Cork, Munich, and Palma de Mallorca.
Captain Geoff Linaker, Director Flight Operations, replaces Captain Richard Hill.
2 737-3Q8's (24962; 24963, G-OBMP); 1 737-37Q (2904-28537, G-ODSK); 1 737-59D (27268); & 2 737-5Q8's (25160; 25166), now transferred to bmibaby (BMI).
January 2003: In 3/03, bmibaby (BMI), Cardiff - Paris (CDG) (13/week). In 4/03, London Heathrow (LHR) - Alicante/Venice (A320). Cardiff - Toulouse (Saturdays).
February 2003: bmibaby (BMI) selects Manchester as its 3rd UK base and will base 2 new 737 airplanes there. Captain John Robertson, Head Flight Operations bmibaby (BMI).
In 5/03, bmibaby (BMI), Manchester - Alicante (daily)/Belfast (International) (3/day)/Cork (daily)/Malaga (daily)/Palma de Mallorca (daily). Manchester - Murcia (weekly).
Canceled 1 A330-200 order.
March 2003: 5,100 employees.
2002 Pre-tax = -# 19.6M Pounds/-$30.8M) (+# 12.4M P): 5.30B RPK (+43.1%); 56.98M FTK; 7.5M PAX (+11.9%) (6.7M PAX).
April 2003: bmibaby (BMI) plans 4Q/03 to open a 4th base at Teeside International (near Darlington, County Durham), UK, with 2 737's.
A320-232 (1987, G-MIDO) delivery.
June 2003: In October, bmibaby (BMI) will operate from its new base at Teesside Airport - Belfast International (daily) & Geneva - Malaga (weekly).
1 757-27B (24838, TF-FIW), Icelandair (ICE) 1 month leased.
July 2003: 5,000 employees. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Code share with Thai Airways International (TII), London to Bangkok and to 7 destinations in the UK. In November, London Heathrow to Tenerife (daily), with flights to Reina Sofia Airport in the south (5/week) and to Los Rodeos Airport in the north (2/week).
bmibaby (BMI) trims its capacity by -25% for its winter timetable.
September 2003: bmibaby (BMI), Cardiff - Prague (4/week).
2002 = -$29.6 Million (+$17.9 Million): 6.56 Billion (RPK) traffic (+2.2%); -1.4% (ASK) capacity; 68.6% LF load factor; 7.9 Million passengers (+13.5%); 58 Million (FTK) freight (+74.2%); 4,576 employees (-21.6%).
2002 TOP WORLD AIRLINES TRAFFIC (RPK) (Billion):
86 (SBR) 7.48; 87 (MTH) 7.09; 88 (KUW) 6.71; 89 (VIE) 6.60; 90 (SPR) 6.57; 91 (BMA) 6.56; 92 (LNK) 6.41; 93 (RAM) 6.38; 94 (BTA) 6.36; 95 (QTA) 6.20; 96 (COI) 5.96; 97 (EGF) 5.94; 98 (LOT) 5.87; 99 (FRO) 5.49; 100 (WJI) 5.49.
4 orders (2/04) A319's (ILF) leased.
October 2003: bmibaby (BMI), Manchester to Barcelona and Prague (daily) for total 8 destinations from Ringway. In December, Manchester to Geneva (weekly).
(BMA) code share with Air Canada (ACN), London Heathrow (LHR) to Amsterdam and Brussels. Also, between Canada and the UK & the USA.
1st 9 months = +23% passengers.
BmiBaby will add +7 737-300's and retire up to 5 737-500's.
November 2003: Selects Rockwell Collins to supply communications, navigation and surveillance equipment for 9 A319's scheduled to be delivered in 2004.
December 2003: In March, London Heathrow - Aberdeen (A319/A320, 4/day), to Inverness (A321, daily), and to Naples (daily). bmiBaby (BMI), East Midlands - Bordeaux (4/week). Manchester - Bordeaux, Jersey, Paris (CDG). In May, to resume East Midlands - Ibiza.
January 2004: 2003 Pre-tax = -9.8 Million Pounds/-$17.9 Million (- 19.6 Million Pounds): 9.4 Million passengers (+25%) (Record); 67% LF load factor (+4); due to "a very tough year with the double impact of (SARS) and the conflict in Iraq in the first part of the year. The loss of transfer traffic at London Heathrow from its 13 Star Alliance (SAL) partners and other interline carriers cost (BMA) business in excess of - 17 Million Pounds in lost revenues and was the principal factor in delaying (BMA)'s return to profitability.".
2003 bmibaby (BMI) = 3 Million passengers. bmibaby (BMI) is opening a new base at Teesside.
East Midlands Airport name changed to Nottingham East Midlands Airport.
David Hodge, Head of Marketing, bmibaby (1/04).
February 2004: In April, code share with Air Canada (ACN) Manchester - Toronto. Bmibaby, London Gatwick (LGW) - Prague/Cork (daily), bringing its UK bases to 5: Nottingham/East Midlands; Manchester; Cardiff; Teesside; & (LGW). Nottingham/East Midlands to Knock and Belfast International (daily). In May, Manchester - Ibiza (daily).
1st A319-132 (2098, G-DBCA), (ILF) leased.
March 2004: Code share with Singapore Airlines (SIA), Singapore - London and to Belfast, Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. In November, Manchester to Barbados (2/week), Antigua (weekly), and St Lucia (weekly), in the Caribbean.
bmibaby (BMI) coordinates marketing and sales efforts with GermanWings (RFG), who are discussing similar agreement with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Snowflake and (LOT) Polish Airlines.
737-3L9 (27833, G-OGBD), Orix (OXA) leased for bmibaby (BMI).
April 2004: Code share with Singapore Airlines (SIA) adding its code on routes to Belfast, Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, that connect with (SIA)'s (3/day) Singapore - London Heathrow (LHR).
1st Quarter = 1.15 Billion (RPK) traffic (+39.6%); 1.55 Million passengers (+16%); 18.1 Million (FTK) freight (+41.8%).
A319-131 (2188, G-DBCB), (ILF) leased.
May 2004: Extended its code share agreement with SriLankan (LNK) to including flights from London to Manchester, Bradford, Teeside, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Belfast. New destinations covered are Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris, which is also served directly by 4 weekly SriLankan (LNK) flights.
Selected Sabre's AirPrice fares amanagement system, which is currently in use at 17 airlines around the world. BMI British Midland (BMA) already uses other Sabre Airline Solutions products, including the Sabre AirMax revenue management system.
A319-131 (2194, G-DBCC), (ILF) leased.
June 2004: Last 12 months = 10.8 Million passengers (+20%).
Star Alliance (SAL): Air Canada (ACN); Air New Zealand (ANZ); All Nippon Airways (ANA); Asiana (AAR); Austrian (AUL); Blue 1 (applicant); bmi (BMA); (LOT) Polish Airlines; Lufthansa (DLH); Scandinavian (SAS); Singapore Airlines (SIA); South African Airways (SAA) (applicant); Spanair (SPP); (TAP) Air Portugal (applicant); Thai Airways (TII); United Airlines (UAL); US Airways (USA); & Varig (VAR).
July 2004: Last 6 months (BMA) Group = 5 Million passengers (+16%). 2003 = -$17.43 Million (-$31.45): 8.05 Billion (RPK) Traffic (+28.9%); 68.5% LF load factor; 8.41 Million passengers (+13.5%); 54.72 Million (FTK) freight (-4.8%).
In October, Las Vegas - Manchester (A330-200, 3/week).
August 2004: In November, Manchester - Barbados (2/week). In December, Manchester - St Lucia (weekly).
F28-100 (11488, G-BVJB) to Skywest.
October 2004: Manchester - Las vegas (3/week). Expands code share with Gulf Air (GUL) to the London Heathrow - Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Muscat routes. In March, London Heathrow (LHR) to Mumbai (daily), & to Bangalore (6/week).
Nigel Turner, CEO, replaced Austin Reid, who retired "for personal reasons a year earlier than originally planned." Alan Bird, Financial Director & CFO. Tim Bye, Deputy CEO.
Sir Michael Bishop, Chairman still has his 50.1% stake. Lufthansa (DLH) has close to (30%), and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), the remaining (20%).
December 2004: (UKCAA) maintained British Airways (BAB)'s dominance in the UK - India market by allocating to (BAB) a third of the 21 new frequencies available under the recent bilateral agreement between the 2 countries. (BAB) currently operates all 19 weekly services available to UK airlines, while Virgin Atlantic (VAA) was allotted 10 and BMI British Midland (BMA) 4. In summer 2005, (BAB) will add 4 weekly flights to Chennai & inaugurate 3/week service to Bangalore. Rod Eddington, CEO stated "(BAB) is looking forward to increasing flights to Chennai & starting services to Bangalore, but they would like to operate more flights to India and (BAB) was "disappointed" because it had requested +21 extra frequencies." Reportedly, (BMA) shareholder & Star Alliance partner Lufthansa is not too keen to see (BMA) operating to India, as it will divert traffic away from (DLH)'s own services out of Germany. (BMA)'s award was in March, London Heathrow (LHR) - Mumbai (4/week).
London Heathrow - Mumbai.
January 2005: David Bryon, Managing Director, bmiBaby (BMI).
2004 Bmi (BMA) Group Pre-tax = +2.1 Million Pounds/+$2.8 Million (- 9.8 Million Pounds): +7% (ASK) capacity; 70% LF load factor (+3); 10.5 Million (+11%). The mainline (BMA) is moving towards a single-type airplane fleet operation at London Heathrow (LHR) and Airbus (EDS) airplanes will comprise the entire fleet there by June.
February 2005: A319-131 (2389), (ILF) leased.
March 2005: Star Alliance (SAL) partners (TAP) Air Portugal, All Nippon (ANA), bmi British Midland (BMA), Lufthansa (DLH), Thai Airways (TII), Adria Airways (ADR), & Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will all start using Terminal 1 at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) which will have 8 MILLION passengers/year and will become a minihub for these carriers.
London Heathrow (LHR) to Riyadh (3/week) "shortly" after it launches its (LHR) to Mumbai (4/week) in May.
In May, will wet-lease a 757-208 (24760, TF-FII) from Icelandair (ICE) to be based at Manchester and operate the route to Washington in a 2 class configuration.
A319-131 (2429, G-DBCE), (ILF) leased. 2 orders A330-243's.
May 2005: 3,765 employees (including 392 Flight Crew (FC), 994 Cabin Attendants (CA), & 529 Maintenance Technicians (MT)).
In August, will introduce "Europe's first modular airline service" at London Heathrow (LHR), which includes a switch to a single-class (Y) service with paid-for catering onboard and e-enabled ground services. Simultaneously, will launch three fare types: tiny, standard, & premium - giving 3 levels of flexibility and service. The single-class configuration will apply to all of its short-haul routes from (LHR) with the exception of 4 core business routes: to Glasgow, Edinurgh, Belfast City, & Brussels, which will retain a separate business-class (C) cabin.
Selects Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Component's Free2Fly program for its fleet of 4 A319's, 11 A320's, 10 A321's, & 3 A330's on a long-term basis. (SAS) Component will buy and lease back bmi (BMA)'s stock of A330 rotables and set up branch stores at Manchester and London Heathrow. The contract follows a (BMA) to focus on core activities and a realization that (SAS) Component with its volume is in an ideal position to negotiate prices with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)'s.
Lufthansa (DLH) expands its e-ticketing program to include flights on its partner airlines bmi (BMA) and (LOT) Polish.
757-208 (24760, TF-FII), Icelandair (ICE) wet-leased. A319-131 (2466, G-DBCF), (ILF) leased.
June 2005: In December, London Heathrow to Riyadh (A330, 3 class, 3/week).
July 2005: Neil Tolefree, Head UK Sales.
Deploys Lufthansa (DLH) Systems new passenger system FACE. Check-in will be migrated to FACE at all bmi (BMA) stations. In 2007, bmi (BMA) will migrate all core modules of its passenger system tothe FACE platform, including reservations, inventory management, ticketing & boardinng, and other passenger-related service processes.
August 2005: Manchester - Barbados (3/week).
September 2005: UK and India officially signed a bilateral air services treaty replacing the one dating to 1951. The bilateral formalizes new traffic rights that will allow UK airlines to operate 56 services per week between London Heathrow and Delhi or Mumbai, 14 weekly services from the UK to Bangalore and to Chennai and seven weekly services to each or any other destination in India by the end of next year. Indian airlines can operate a similar number of services on routes between Heathrow and Delhi or Mumbai and may provide unlimited service to other UK destinations. In addition, the agreement provides for unlimited cargo services.
(TAP) Portugal and bmi (BMA) signed up to trial the commercial use of mobile phones onboard of some of their A320 family airplanes in partnership with OnAir, the Airbus-SITA joint venture. The trials will take place toward the end of 2006 based on the current timetable to have OnAir's onboard equipment "fully certified" with "the necessary telecommunications regulatory framework put in place."
Bmi (BMA) will pilot the service on an A320 on services from London Heathrow. "This trial will guide us on usage patterns and some of the social issues in using mobile phones on airplanes. It will also help us to confirm the business case for rolling the service out across the remainder of the fleet. Initially we would hope to install the equipment in our short-to-medium-haul Airbus airplanes," CEO Nigel Turner said.
Separately, OnAir announced it selected Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband service and Thales' satcom system to support its passenger voice and data communications.
Star Alliance chose UK-based Zero Octa as the preferred vendor for revenue recovery and protection services. Ten member carriers - - Air Canada (ACN), Air New Zealand (ANZ), Asiana Airlines (AAR), bmi (BMA), (LOT) Polish Airlines, Singapore Airlines (SIA), Spanair (SPP), United Airlines (UAL), US Airways (USA) and Varig (VAR) - - will be using Zero Octa.
October 2005: Bmi (BMA) said it plans to increase its four-times-weekly service from Heathrow to Mumbai to daily and introduce thrice-weekly Heathrow - Jeddah service in 2006 following the "successful launch" of its three-times-weekly London Heathrow (LHR) - Riyadh service Sept 1. (BMA) also said it will suspend at the end of this month its Manchester - Washington Dulles (IAD) service, now 6X weekly with a leased 757. In December, London Heathrow (LHR) to Lyon (A320, 4/week). Bmi (BMA) will inaugurate nonstop service from London Heathrow to Mumbai in April. The airline plans on operating a daily flight using an A330.
November 2005: Amsterdam Schiphol's new low-cost carrier pier opened Nov 1 with easyJet (EZY), Thomsonfly.com (TFY), bmibaby (BMI), Jet2 (JT2) and SkyEurope (SKP)as tenants. Wizz Air (WZZ) joins Dec 1. Initially, 20 - 30 daily flights will operate from Pier H, which has seven gates but no airbridges. The airport's seventh pier, it can accommodate a maximum of 64 daily inbound and outbound flights and was designed to handle around 8 million passengers annually. It was constructed in just nine months, Schiphol said.
(SAS) is eager to sell its 20% stake in bmi (BMA) and pull out of the loss-making joint venture with the British carrier and Lufthansa (DLH) on European routes, the Financial Times reported. In an interview with the newspaper, (SAS) Chief Executive Joergen Lindegaard conceded that the (JV) cost the carrier SEK1.5 billion/£182.1 million in losses between 2000 and September this year. It expects a further loss from the venture of SEK450 million for the current year.
Under terms of the so-called European Cooperation Agreement (ECA) that came into effect in January 2000 and runs to the end of 2007, the three airlines, all members of Star Alliance (SAL), operate a revenue- and profit-sharing joint venture comprising their European short-haul routes to and from London Heathrow and Manchester. Whereas bmi (BMA) operates the largest number of routes covered by the (ECA), it carries only 10% of any losses, while Lufthansa (DLH) and (SAS) each carry 45%.
"It is a stupid contract but there is nothing I can do about it," Lindegard said. "We will look if a sale of the 20% [stake in bmi] is an option."
Earlier this year, Lufthansa disclosed it had examined a possible sale of its bmi (BMA) stake. The German carrier (DLH) acquired an initial 20% from (SAS) in 1999 and currently holds 30%-minus-one share. (SAS) has 20% while bmi (BMA) founder and Chairman Michael Bishop controls a majority stake of 50%-plus-one share. Bmi (BMA) holds 14% of the slots at Heathrow.
Bmi Group (BMA) may eliminate up to -185 positions at Nottingham East Midlands Airport (NEMA) as part of a plan to restructure its maintenance and engineering functions and create three fleet-specific jet airplane Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) bases to serve its three operating units. From March, bmi (BMA) will consolidate its Airbus (MRO) at its main operating base at London Heathrow (LHR). Bmibaby (BMI) will handle its 16-plane Boeing fleet at (NEMA) and bmi regional will continue to conduct all maintenance and engineering on its Embraer fleet at its Aberdeen base. The Heathrow (LHR) unit will explore opportunities for third-party line maintenance work; however, the group will withdraw from third-party maintenance at (NEMA). As a result of the positions created at (LHR) and voluntary redundancies, bmi said it expects the actual number of redundancies will be fewer than -100 out of a maintenance workforce numbering 650.
December 2005: 1st 11 months = Passenger traffic 5.16 Billion (RPK) (+4.7%); Freight traffic 98.7 Million (FTK) (+43.9%); 5.98 Million passengers (-5.8%).
Bmi (BMA) will commence a thrice-weekly London Heathrow (LHR) - Jeddah service April 23. "We have been extremely encouraged by the start that we have had on the Heathrow to Riyadh route," chief executive Nigel Turner said. The carrier will increase to daily its service from Heathrow to Mumbai April 22 and also begin a daily service March 26 to Doha from (LHR) that will be operated under a wet-lease agreement with Qatar Airways (QTA) subject to government approval. At the same time, bmi (BMA)'s existing codeshare agreement with (QTA) will be expanded to allow bmi (BMA) to sell (QTA) flights from (LHR) to Doha.
Bmi (BMA) canceled its Edinburgh - Munich service planned for the spring because Munich Airport was unable to provide a morning slot, which the carrier said was critical to the route's viability, The Scotsman reported. Bmi (BMA) will launch thrice-daily Aberdeen - Amsterdam service March 27 aboard ERJ-135s and ERJ-145s.
January 2006: Bmi (BMA) will begin daily, London Heathrow (LHR) - Doha service by the end of March aboard an A330-300 wet-leased from Qatar Airways (QTA) and a thrice-weekly (LHR) - Jeddah service April 26 using its own 767-300ERs. It will code share with Qatar (QTA) on its flights between London and Doha. Meantime, Bmi Regional will launch thrice-daily Aberdeen - Amsterdam service March 27 aboard ERJ-145s. It has abandoned plans to operate Edinburgh - Munich and London Luton - Brussels services.
767-31AER (27619, PH-MCV), ArkeFly (HOL) wet-leased to provide cover while its A330-200 undergoes routine maintenance checks.
February 2006: Star Alliance (SAL) member carriers at Paris (CDG) Terminal 1 have begun moving into new check-in Hall 4, the alliance announced last week. Thai Airways (TII) and bmi (BMA) already are using the new Star Alliance (SAL) facilities and Adria Airways (ADR), All Nippon Airways (ANA), Croatia Airlines (CRH), (LOT) Polish Airlines, Lufthansa (DLH) and (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines will relocate by the end of the month. There are 24 check-in desks currently available. Singapore Airlines (SIA), United Airlines UAL), US Airways (AMW)/(USA) and Varig (VAR) will start making use of the new facilities in 2008 once additional areas of the terminal are refurbished. Star Alliance (SAL)-branded self-service check-in units will become available in March to customers of select alliance carriers.
Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) Philippines (LTP) will perform heavy maintenance checks on Bmi (BMA)'s three A330s, (LTP) announced here.
British Airports Authority (BAA) handled 10.1 million passengers at its seven UK airports in January, a rise of +1.9% over the previous January. Airplane movements increased +4.2%. North Atlantic traffic fell by -3.4% (RPK). European scheduled traffic was up by +4.5% (RPK) and Irish by +3.7% (RPK). Domestic traffic grew by only +1.1% (RPK). The -17.7% (RPK) drop in European charter traffic almost precisely matched a similar cut in capacity as operators switched more services from charter to a low-cost scheduled format, (BAA) noted. Cargo tonnage increased +2.6%.
Among individual airports, the fastest growing was again Aberdeen, where a renewed surge in North Sea oil activity helped produce a +15.9% increase in passengers. In the London area, Heathrow (LHR) recorded a drop of -0.6%, while Gatwick (LGW) was up by +2.1% and Stansted (STN) by +6.9%. Southampton saw growth of +9.4% as it continued to be buoyed by an expansion in domestic services, while Glasgow and Edinburgh registered increases of +4.3% and +3.6% respectively.
2 A319-132's (2694, G-DBCG; 2697, G-DBCH), (ILF) leased.
March 2006: Bmi (BMA) selected "Discover the World Marketing" to handle sales and marketing through its Russian office for Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Bmi (BMA) Regional launched Aberdeen - Amsterdam service. Flights operate thrice-daily weekdays, once on Saturday and twice on Sunday.
April 2006: Bmi Group (BMA) reported a pre-tax profit of +£10 million /+$17.3 million in 2005, nearly four times greater than the +£2.6 million earned in 2004.
Turnover rose +4.7% to £869 million from £830.1 million on a +6.3% increase in passenger traffic (RPK)s to 9.33 billion. Operating result before exceptional items, moved from a loss of -£3.2 million in 2004 to a profit of +£5.5 million in 2005. Segment information on the performance of each of the group's operations - - the mainline based at London Heathrow, bmi regional and its low-cost subsidiary, bmibaby (BMI) - - was not provided.
"Our concentration on higher yields, better resource allocation and cost control has delivered a good foundation for future growth," Chairman Michael Bishop said.
The company added three airplanes in 2005, bringing its fleet to 60 and helping boost capacity (ASK)s 7.5% to 13.1 billion. The launch of long-haul routes from (LHR) to Mumbai and Riyadh also contributed. Load factor slipped -0.9 point to 71% LF and passenger boardings remained static at 10.5 million.
"We are willing to accept volume reductions in certain markets if it improves overall levels in yield, resulting in increased profitability," Bishop said, referring to mainline operations. The group completed its fleet rationalization program and introduced a new strategy for its poorly performing operations at (LHR) last August, based on a more flexible fare and service structure.
Bishop continued to refuse comment on his future ownership plans in Bmi Group (BMA), in which he holds a controlling stake of 50% plus one share. Lufthansa (DLH) holds 30% minus one share and (SAS) AB owns 20%. UK press regularly reports that Bishop intends to exercise an option to sell his stake to Lufthansa (DLH) for ?330 million/$398.9 million to avoid having to absorb losses from the joint venture the three shareholders have for the short-haul operations out of (LHR). Under terms of the JV, Lufthansa (DLH) and (SAS) absorb up to 90% of the losses while bmi (BMA) has been underwriting just 10%. The deal ends in December 2007. Last November, the Financial Times reported that (SAS) is keen to dispose of its holding.
The UK and Russian governments signed a new aviation agreement that will lead to "a significant expansion" in air services between the two countries, the UK government announced. The bilateral grants bmi (BMA) the right to operate alongside British Airways (BAB) on the principal London - Moscow route and doubles the number of services permitted to 70 per week - - 35 from each country. The number of flights permitted on the Manchester - Moscow route will increase to 14 per week. The agreement also opens new destinations and routes, including Moscow to Liverpool and Birmingham, London to Kaliningrad and Krasnoyarsk, from London through Ekaterinburg to points beyond Russia and from any point in the UK to any additional new point in Russia to be nominated by the UK. UK airlines will receive a substantial increase in the number of flights they are permitted to operate through Russian airspace on routes to the Far East, and UK and Russian carriers may enter into codeshare agreements on each other's services. The deal also entitles two airlines from each side to operate up to 14 all-cargo services per week between the countries.
Bmi (BMA) will consolidate its operations at Manchester into Terminal 3 effective June 1. It currently operates its long-haul flights and a regional route to Toulouse out of Terminal 1.
Bmi (BMA) will increase the frequency on its London Heathrow to Mumbai route to daily service. The airline operates an A330.
Bmi (BMA) leased a 767 to be operated on its service to Riyadh from April 22 and a new route to Jeddah scheduled to launch May 18. The airplane will be configured with two classes and will feature Star Alliance livery.
May 2006: bmi (BMA)'s 2005 results demonstrate that its strategy of pursuing more long-haul routes, the restructuring of its mainline operation to a one-class product and tight cost control are beginning to boost its performance. The bmi (BMA) group saw its turnover rise by +4.7% to 869 Pounds/$1.554 million in 2005 and its pre-tax profits for the year at 10 million Pounds were nearly 4x the 2004 figure. Nigel Turner, CEO says that the carrier's focus on high-yield passengers and increased long-haul operations, with new services to Mumbai and Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, explains why passenger traffic overall rose by +6% (RPK) but passenger numbers remained static at 10.5 million. It is concentrating its international expansion strategy on the Middle East and India, although Turner says an open skies agreement with the USA could change the picture, as bmi (BMA) would be finally allowed to operate transatlantic services from London Heathrow. In the Gulf, bmi (BMA) is adding services to Jeddah. However, a planned wet-lease of a Qatar Airways (QTA) airplane to serve Doha was blocked by the UK government.
BMI British Midland (BMA) Chairman, Michael Bishop tightened his control on the UK airline group, by buying out his long-term sleeping partners in the BBW Partnership, which holds the controlling majority stake in the group. John Wolfe and Stuart Balmforth each owned stakes of 24.9% in BBW, with Bishop holding the remainder. The group confirmed the transaction in a short statement. Bishop now owns 50% plus one share, Lufthansa (DLH) holds 30% minus one share and (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines owns 20%.
The timing of the deal is interesting, as it gives Bishop a free hand to deal with (DLH) and (SAS), who reportedly would like to divest from the loss-making venture. Bmi (BMA) holds approximately 12% of the slots at London Heathrow and Lufthansa (DLH) was attracted by the prospect of eventually using some slots for flights to the USA. However, the Open Aviation Area between the (EU) and USA has not materialized. Some insiders speculate Bishop might reopen negotiations with Richard Branson on a merger with Virgin Atlantic (VAA) or a sale of bmi (BMA).
Bmi (BMA) launched thrice-weekly London Heathrow - Jeddah service aboard a 767-300ER operated by TUI Airlines, departing Heathrow on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Sundays and Jeddah on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays. The route was abandoned by British Airways (BAB) early last year. Jeddah is bmi (BMA)'s second destination in Saudi Arabia after Riyadh, to which it started flights in September. Encouraged by what it calls "extremely strong demand for the business class (C) product" on the Riyadh route, it boosted the number of business class (C) seats on flights to Saudi Arabia from 24 to 42.
bmi (BMA) plans to serve Moscow Domodedovo airport through a joint service with Russian carrier Transaero (TRX), following the award of route rights from London Heathrow. The two airlines will offer twice-daily service on the route "as soon as possible."
A319-132 (2720, G-DBCI), (ILF) leased.
June 2006: Bmi (BMA) Chairman, Michael Bishop celebrated bmi (BMA)'s role in European aviation liberalization and 20 years of scheduled services to Europe, with a call for continued deregulation, particularly between the USA and London Heathrow (LHR). On June 29, 1986, bmi (BMA) Flight BD101 left (LHR) for Amsterdam, marking "the first scheduled flight between Heathrow and a major European city by any independent airline. Until that date, only the respective national airlines, or so-called flag carriers, were able to operate cross-border scheduled services on major routes," Bishop noted. "Bmi (BMA) does not claim to have led the process of deregulation over the last two decades; however, we were one of the main protagonists of a drive for deregulation that led to an increase in choice, value and service for air travelers during the 1980s and 1990s."
July 2006: Bmi (BMA) will inaugurate nonstop service from London Heathrow to Moscow Domodedovo on October 29th. The airline will operate a daily flight with an A320. Bmi (BMA) will cancel its London Heathrow to Nice service for the coming winter schedule. The airline will operate its last daily flight on October 28th and plans on resuming daily service on March 27th.
August 2006: Bmi (BMA) mainline and regional pilots (FC) represented by the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) began voting yesterday on whether to authorize a strike action. Balloting at bmibaby (BMI) started last week. The result of the former will be released on August 24 and that of the latter on August 16. The union said there are different issues facing pilots at each of the divisions, but that they are united against the "imposition" of a +2.4% pay increase. Mainline pilots also are facing a required pension contribution increase to +18.5% from +10% "for exactly the same benefits." (BALPA) General Secretary, Jim McAuslan said, "The heart of these disputes is the total lack of respect shown by the company toward its key people," adding that the fact there was no "meaningful consultation" with the pilots in the decisions was a "disgrace in this day and age." (BALPA) said more than 70% of bmi's (BMA) approximately 700 pilots (FC) are members.
Later, Bmi (BMA) faces pilot (FC) strikes following a vote by (BALPA) members who fly for the mainline, bmi (BMI) regional and bmibaby units. Mainline pilots approved strike action by an 89% - 11% margin while 86% of regional pilots voted to strike, according to results released yesterday. Bmibaby (BMI) pilots were balloted last week, with 73% voting to strike. The airline had said that just 47% of bmibaby (BMI) pilots favored a work stoppage, but the union contradicted that figure yesterday.
"One could be an accident, two a coincidence but with all three pilot groups supporting strike action, we have revealed a real feeling of injustice among pilots. Although there are separate and specific issues of dispute in each division, the overarching concern is that the company is bulldozing through change," (BALPA) General Secretary, Jim McAuslan said.
The union said mainline pilots have had pension contributions increased to 18.5% from 10%, regional pilots "have poor roster arrangements, which become unmanageable as a result of fatigue-inducing changes" and bmibaby (BMI) pilots had take-home wages "cut without any consultation whatsoever."
(BALPA) said it has not established a strike date and that "crisis talks" with the carrier will start next week, adding that it requested the involvement of the (ACAS) arbitration service.
"We will approach the concerns raised by (BALPA) constructively," bmi (BMA) CEO, Nigel Turner told the BBC. "Our dispute is not with the travelling public, so we shall give as much notice as possible of strike days so that individuals can make alternative travel arrangements," McAuslan said.
October 2006: 1st 9 months had 6.77 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic (-0.6%), 124 million (FTK) (+64.4%), and 7.36 nillion passengers (-3%).
Bmi (BMA), which temporarily suspended its daily London Heathrow to Mumbai service on October 2nd, announced it was now suspending the service indefinitely because of the technical problem of one of its A330s. Airplane (398, G-WWBM), which has been in Bmi (BMA)'s operation since April 2001, has been found with a cracked wing main landing gear rib 6 aft bearing lug, will undergo maintenance from October 30th.
Daily codeshare with TransAero (TRX) between Moscow Domededov - London Heathrow.
November 2006: BMI British Midland (BMA) is UK's second largest scheduled service operator, serving domestic, European and USA routes, operating more than 2,000 weekly flights to 29 destinations.
Employees = 4,077.
(IATA) Code: BD - 236. (ICAO) Code: BMA (Callsign - MIDLAND).
Parent organization/shareholders: BBW Partnership (Sir Michael Bishop, J Wolfe & S Balmforth) (50% +1 share); Lufthansa (DLH) (30% -1 share); & (SAS) Group (20%).
Owns: BMI Regional (100%); & bmiBaby (BMI) (100%).
Alliances: Star Alliance (SAL); Air France (AFA); Gulf Air (GUL); Malaysia Airlines (MAS); Qatar Airways (QTA); Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA); South African Airways (SAA); SriLankan Airlines (LNK); & Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA).
Main Base: London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
Hub: Nottingham/East Midlands airport (EMA).
Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Aberdeen; Belfast; Birmingham; Durham/Tees Valley; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Inverness; Leeds Bradford; London; Manchester; Newcastle; Norwich; Nottingham; Stornoway; & Outer Hebrides.
International, Scheduled Destinations: Abu Dhabi; Alicante; Amsterdam; Antigua; Bahrain; Bridgetown; Brussels; Calgary; Cape Town; Chicago; Cologne; Copenhagen; Cork; Dublin; Dusseldorf; Esbjerg; Frankfurt; Gothenburg; Groningen; Halifax; Hanover; Johannesburg; Las Vegas; Lyons; Madrid; Milan; Montreal; Mumbai; Munich; Muscat; Nice; Oslo; Ottawa; Palma de Mallorca; Paris; Pisa; Riyadh; Saint John's; Stavanger; Stockholm; Stuttgart; Toronto; Toulouse; Vancouver; Venice; Vienna; & Warsaw.
December 2006: London Heathrow (LHR) suffered another operational meltdown, this time owing to persistent severe fog. Air Traffic Control (ATC) placed restrictions on the number of flight movements at (LHR), resulting in a -50% reduction in flow rates. All airlines at the airport were affected. British Airways (BAB) cancelled its entire domestic schedule from (LHR) as well as some European flights. Bmi (BMA), the second-largest carrier, cancelled more than 40 flights. Several other UK airports, including Gatwick (LGW), were affected, while others operated normally. The UK Met Office issued guidance that the dense, and in some places freezing, fog will remain in the coming days.
January 2007: Bmi (BMA) will stop flying to Paris Charles de Gaulle from London Heathrow and Leeds Bradford airports on March 25.
Bmi (BMA) will launch twice-daily London Heathrow (LHR) - Jersey flights on March 25. The carrier, which in 2005 introduced a single-class cabin and paid-for catering on most of its short-haul network from (LHR), said it will offer a full-service operation on the new link.
A319-131 (2981, G-DBCJ), AerCap (DEA) leased. A330-243 (401, G-WWBD), wet-leased to Virgin Nigeria (VNA).
February 2007: British Midland, parent of bmi (BMA), announced that it acquired control of London Heathrow-based British Mediterranean (BMED) (BMR), a British Airways (BAB) franchise partner since 1997, subscribing to approximately £30 million/$59 million of new shares in BMED (BMR).
"Bringing BMED (BMR) into the bmi (BMA) group, creates a business with a turnover in excess of £1 billion with substantial growth opportunities. The acquisition enables the bmi (BMA) group to accelerate its strategy of expansion into medium-haul markets," group CEO, Nigel Turner said.
BMED (BMR) operates to 17 destinations in 16 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, with three A320s and five A321s. It has a further five A321s on order. All are powered by (V2500)s, as are bmi (BMA)'s A320 family airplanes. It has no overlap with any bmi (BMA) route.
For a while, privately held BMED (BMR) pondered an Initial Public Offering (IPO), but the idea was shelved last year, as its financial situation deteriorated because of rising fuel prices and the war in Lebanon.
Bmi (BMA) said it reached an agreement with British Airways (BAB) that will see the franchise deal and any other commercial accords continue through the end of the summer 2007 timetable. BMED (BMR) CEO, David Richardson will retain his position and report to Turner.
Starting March 25th, new 2/day, London Heathrow - Jersey, using A319s/ERJ-145s.
March 2007: Bmi (BMA) is taking a partial U-turn on the paid-for inflight catering service concept introduced in August 2005 on short-haul mainline operations at London Heathrow (LHR), announcing reintroduction of complimentary food and drink for certain loyalty program members. Diamond Club members also will benefit from priority seating. The change will apply from April 2. "The airline industry has been through a period of massive change in the past five years, a process that continues today," bmi (BMA) CEO, Nigel Turner said. "By developing and evolving our products and services, we can ensure we continue to . . . remain competitive in the marketplace." The airline operates single-class service on all non-(LHR) mainline routes with the exception of Belfast City, Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow, where both business (C) and economy (Y) cabins are on offer.
Bmi (BMA) is reconfiguring and expanding its regional and medium-haul operations following its acquisition of British Airways (BAB)franchise partner BMED (BMR) and (BAB)'s sale of BA Connect to Flybe (BEE), which was recently finalized. bmi (BMA) unveiled its plans for BMED (BMR), in which it acquired a 99% stake last month through a £30 million/$57.8 million share subscription. "To achieve this kind of growth without the acquisition and integration of BMED (BMR) could take years to achieve," bmi (BMA) CEO, Nigel Turner said. BMED (BMR)will continue to fly for (BAB) until October 28, when it will become part of bmi (BMA) and operate under the latter's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC). (BAB) will retain codeshare rights on former BMED (BMR) routes but remaining ties, including livery and uniforms, will disappear. Bmi (BMD) said it will roll out a new medium-haul product "combining the best of BMED (BMR) and the best of bmi (BMA)." Cockpit and cabin crew will undergo a "gradual phased integration" and BMED (BMR)'s front office functions will be absorbed. Turner said bmi (BMA) would "be doing everything possible" to minimize the number of redundancies. BMED (BMR) operates five A321s and three A320s to 17 destinations in 16 countries.
Additionally, Flybe (BEE)'s acquisition of BA Connect, prompted an expansion of bmi (BMA) regional's services, the company said. It will launch five new routes this summer: Aberdeen to Brussels International and Kristiansand, Leeds Bradford to Copenhagen.
The USA and European airlines largely hailed the (EU) transport ministers' approval of the "open skies" agreement, though British Airways (BAB) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) led a chorus on the European side cautioning that the deal is just a "first step" toward creation of a truly open transatlantic air market by 2010. (IATA) Director General, Giovanni Bisignani called the agreement "a step in the right direction," but added that "it's time to set aggressive targets to create even more opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic." The Assn of European Airlines (AEA) Secretary General, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus said it "establishes a framework which includes, but goes beyond, market opportunities . . . but it is only a first step towards the ultimate goal." Air Transport Assn President & CEO, James May said the deal has the "potential to provide enormous benefits to our respective customers and economies."
Much attention is being focused on London Heathrow (LHR), where transatlantic operations currently are limited to (BAB), Virgin (VAA), American Airlines (AAL), and United Airlines (UAL). "Access to Heathrow (LHR) for USA airlines is at the heart" of the deal, (BAB) CEO, Willie Walsh said. He encouraged the UK government to "stand by its right of automatic termination of traffic rights" and employ that power "if America doesn't play ball" by negotiating further liberalization. (LHR) was the (EU)'s "most valuable negotiating asset," Walsh insisted. With that chip "given away," it is "naive" to think the USA will pursue greater freedoms, including more USA market access for (EU) carriers by 2010, he added. According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), (BAB) operated 44% of transatlantic flights in and out of (LHR) March 1 to 19, with (AAL) at 16%, Virgin (VAA) at 14%, and United (UAL) at 11%. (AAL) and (UAL) have said they support open skies even though it may hurt them in the short term in London. Continental Airlines (CAL) already has applied to the USA Dept of Transportation (DOT) for permission to launch service from Houston Intercontinental to (LHR) before summer 2008. Bmi (BMA) CEO, Nigel Turner called the agreement's approval "a brave move in the face of stiff opposition from the two UK airlines that have for years enjoyed a protected transatlantic market from Heathrow."
The International Air Carriers Assn (IACA) Director General, Sylviane Lust said the agreement is imbalanced in the USA carriers' favor: "The [EU's] shopping list for the second phase negotiations remains substantial while the USA side has obtained everything it wanted in the first phase."
A319-131 (3049, G-DBCK), AerCap (DEA) leased.
April 2007: Considered to be a merger or acquisition target following approval of the (EU)-USA "open skies" agreement, Iberia Airlines (IBE) received a takeover approach from Texas Pacific Group (TPG), which values the Spanish flag carrier at about €3.4 billion/$4.53 billion. "Iberia (IBE) reports that it has received a request from (TPG) Capital LLP . . . for access to specific corporate, accounting, fiscal and legal information, with a view to the possible formulation of a public offer to buy all shares in the company at the price of €3.60 cash per share," (IBE) said in a regulatory filing. (TPG), who are also participating in bids for Qantas (QAN) and Alitalia (ALI), agreed to analyze the information within 30 days of receipt and make its decision within another 10 days. Iberia (IBE)said its board will meet in the coming days "to deliberate and make a decision" on (TPG)'s approach. Last week, the airline indicated it was open to a sale or partial sale. It is not known if (TPG), a USA private equity fund, will make a bid, yet it is doubtful it would acquire more than 49% because this would lead to (IBE)'s losing its status, and the accompanying traffic rights, as an (EU) carrier. The recently concluded "open skies" accord, scheduled to be signed later this month in Washington, establishes the concept of a community carrier but does not change current ownership and control rules.
British Airways (BAB), which holds 10% of Iberia (IBE), and Lufthansa (DLH) also are seen as plausible suitors. (BAB) said that in light of (TPG)'s approach, it appointed UBS to advise it on how to use its stake in the best interests of shareholders. The advice will examine "all options, including a disposal of British Airways (BAB)'s holding," it said. Meanwhile, rumors continued to move ahead regarding further market consolidation in Europe. The latest round of speculation includes (SAS) looking to shed its 20% stake in bmi (BMA), March 30. "The Times" reported that (BAB) reached a deal with bmi (BMA) to purchase 51 weekly slots at London Heathrow (LHR) for £30 million/$58.9 million.
British Airways (BAB) is not in talks to acquire a stake in bmi (BMA) and is not really interested in Iberia Airlines (IBE) either, CEO, Willie Walsh told "The Guardian." "I have had no contact with him [bmi (BMA) Chairman, Michael Bishop] at all and I have read that he is not selling. It is his airline," Walsh said. He did confirm that (BAB) bought some London Heathrow slots from bmi (BMA) and said he would look at bmi (BMA) if it became available. He stressed (BAB) would not acquire its smaller rival just to protect its market position on USA routes. "I have always said I would have no difficulty competing with bmi (BMA) on the transatlantic route. I don't believe in closing off threats like that." He also indicated (BAB) is not interested in taking over Iberia (IBE) and reiterated that a sale of its 10% stake in the carrier remains an option. The Spanish carrier's strength is its Latin American network, which is underpinned by bilateral agreements, Walsh noted. He said (BAB) considered a bid for Alitalia (ALI) for "1.5 seconds" before deciding not to approach the loss-making carrier.
Bmi (BMA) has not decided whether it will expand its transatlantic service from London Heathrow when open skies takes effect next year.
"Much will depend on airplane availability, on market possibilities and on partnerships," Commercial Director, Adrian Parkes said while in Brussels to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the carrier's Belgian service. "Of course, we have the desire to go for it as soon as we are ready." Bmi (BMA) will be looking to add new long-haul airplanes if it opts to enhance its USA operation. It currently has no orders or options for such airplanes. "Like so many people, we had not anticipated the two blocs would come to an agreement," Parkes conceded, admitting the irony of the timeframe. Some eight years ago, bmi (BMA) was so confident "Bermuda II" would be scrapped, that it ordered four A330s and moved to rebrand itself. It wound up leasing several airplanes to Star Alliance partners. It now operates three A330s, flying to Saudi Arabia (SVA) from London Heathrow (LHR) and to Chicago O'Hare, Las Vegas, Barbados and Antigua from Manchester. Parkes said he could not say if new USA routes would be operated as bmi (BMA) or as Lufthansa (DLH), which holds a 30%-minus-one share in the group. "I'm sure a lot of talk is going on between the shareholders," he laughed. Regarding rumors of a possible takeover by British Airways (BAB), he said he "will not speculate on speculation," noting that Chairman, Michael Bishop reiterated his desire to remain independent in several articles in the UK press.
The open skies accord has resulted in an overload of takeover and merger rumors, including a reopening of negotiations between Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) and bmi (BMA). Virgin (VAA) was quick to denounce a possible (BAB)-bmi (BMA) configuration, arguing it would "damage the aviation industry" by creating a dominant player. (BAB) holds about 40% of the slots at (LHR), while bmi (BMA) has 12%.
May 2007: Bmi (BMA) Group reported a pre-tax profit of +£29.7 million/+$59.4 million for 2006, nearly triple the +£10 million generated in 2005. Operating profit before exceptional items increased +85.5% to +£10.2 million. Revenues rose +4.2% to £905.4 million, while passenger boardings remained static at 10.5 million, 40% of which were carried by its bmibaby (BMI) low-fare subsidiary. Per its custom, the company did not provide separate financial results for the mainline, bmibaby (BMI) and bmi regional. "This is an excellent set of results. They demonstrate the benefits of our strategic focus on managing yields, using airplanes and infrastructure more efficiently, as well as controlling costs," Chairman, Michael Bishop said, noting that the sharp increase in operating profit was achieved "in the face of extremely difficult operating conditions and would have been better but for very challenging issues at London Heathrow (LHR)." The (LHR) disruptions in August that, according to Bishop, "were precipitated by the poor implementation by the airport owner of draconian new security measures, which materially increased an already negative perception by passengers in using the airport," plus the December fog, cost the company some -£10 million in lost revenues.
The three airlines flew a combined 9.7 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic in 2006, an increase of +4.8%, on a +3.9% lift in capacity to 13.6 billion (ASK)s. Load factor gained +0.7 point to 71.7% LF.
Bishop said the group will expand its medium- and long-haul route network at (LHR) "to achieve improved financial results from the airline's slot portfolio and a greater focus on business purpose traffic." Last month, it announced its intention to partner with United Airlines (UAL) on transatlantic services.
He described the recently signed (EU) - (USA) "open skies" agreement as a "long held and hard fought aspiration" and said the integration of BMED (BMR) into bmi (BMA) mainline should occur by October 28.
The company anticipates improving its financial performance in the current financial year and said results for the first quarter are in line with budget. It said both bmibaby (BMI) and bmi regional experienced growth in traffic following the withdrawal of regional UK domestic and European services by BA Connect and its sale to Flybe (BEE).
Bmi (BMA) Group Chairman, Michael Bishop confirmed the March transfer of 51 slots at London Heathrow (LHR) to British Airways (BAB) for £30 million/$59.4 million but said the transaction was not a sale, as reported in the mainstream press, but a condition of bmi (BMA)'s acquisition of BMED (BMR). "They weren't our slots," Bishop explained. "The deal was that (BAB) had a right to cancel their franchise with British Mediterranean (BMR) and operate the routes themselves in the case of financial default, which is what happened, and they also had a preemptive right on the slots." He added that the company did not see any benefit in parting with any of its own (LHR) slots, despite a flurry of interest from competing carriers in advance of "open skies." However, part of the slot deal is that British Airways (BAB) will codeshare with bmi (BMA) on former BMED (BMR) routes.
Speaking during this week's Star Alliance (SAL) anniversary celebration in Copenhagen, Bishop said airlines ask about bmi (BMA)'s slot holding "all the time" and "we tell them they're more expensive now than they used to be." Although the proceeds would be significant, slot sales or lease-outs are not in bmi (BMA)'s long-term interest, Bishop explained. "We make enough money using what we've got," he boasted.
The company nearly tripled its full-year pre-tax profit to +£29.7 million in 2006.
"If you sell a slot, you also have to restructure your business," he said. "If you don't have a slot, you don't need the airplane and you don't need the staff. There's no point in selling a slot for a certain amount of money, then you have to pay so much to reduce the size of your business . . . The only point in having a slot is to maximize the value you get from it." To that end, bmi (BMA) augmented its domestic and "near European" network with the February purchase of BMED (BMR). Bishop said its (LHR) - Moscow service now is augmented by 16 additional medium-haul routes, that will feed its growing long-haul operation. He said bmi (BMA) has identified potential markets for new transatlantic services and that the company is preparing an announcement in the third quarter. The number of destinations depends on "how we can stretch the airplane," he said, adding, "we'll be able to acquire the airplane whenever we need. There are enough airplanes in float at the moment."
June 2007: Starts London Heathrow - Alicante, using A319s and stops September 9th.
July 2007: Group Chairman, Michael Bishop said this spring that the company preferred to continue using and developing its (LHR) slots, despite increased interest from potential buyers or renters in advance of "open skies." CEO, Nigel Turner said he was "delighted that we are able to proceed with the development and expansion of our medium- and long-haul services" and that the 10 new airplanes "will allow the introduction of new routes and upgrade capacity on existing services in these two important sectors of our business."
Turner said an expanded short-/medium-haul winter schedule will be announced "shortly," with BMED (BMR) scheduled to be fully integrated into bmi (BMA)'s operation by October 28. Long-haul network plans should be unveiled "later this year," he said. The addition of the new airplanes will lift the Group's fleet to 75.
Bmi (BMA) is expected to launch services to the USA from (LHR), when the (EU)-USA "open skies" agreement goes into effect at the start of next year's summer schedule. It currently serves Chicago O'Hare and Las Vegas from Manchester. The company holds about 13% of the slots at (LHR) and has been lobbying for almost a decade for the right to operate to the USA from the airport.
Bmi (BMA) Group is buying five A330s and five A321s to support its "strategy of developing new mid-haul and long-haul routes from London Heathrow (LHR)," the carrier announced. The five A330s are worth approximately $500 million, bmi (BMA) said, and will join three already in service with the carrier. First delivery is scheduled for next spring. The A321s, valued at $250 million, will feature on a short-/medium-haul network boosted by the February acquisition of British Mediterranean (BMR). No engine choice was announced.
August 2007: Bmi (BMA) will postpone its planned services to the USA from London Heathrow (LHR), which it expected to start when the (EU)-USA "open skies" agreement takes effect, to at least 2009, owing to continuing operational difficulties at (LHR), that may be exacerbated by the reorganization scheduled to follow the March opening of the new Terminal 5, Chairman, Michael Bishop told "The Times." He said transfer traffic has declined at (LHR) as passengers look to avoid the long lines and delays plaguing the airport. The problems reached the point this summer that bmi (BMA) was forced to send at least 10 empty airplanes to the Middle East to pick up passengers in the region, Bishop told the paper. The airline last month announced the purchase of 10 airplanes to bolster its (LHR) service.
September 2007: Bmi (BMA) will launch service to 14 international destinations on October 28, increase service to two others formerly served by BMED (BMR), and start flying daily to Cairo on November 4 in what CEO, Nigel Turner called "the single largest expansion of the bmi (BMA) brand in the history of the airline." The destinations, several of which already were announced, are Addis Ababa, Aleppo, Almaty, Amman, Ankara, Baku, Beirut, Bishkek, Dakar, Damascus, Ekaterinburg, Freetown, Khartoum, Tbilisi, Tehran and Yerevan. In addition, Turner said bmi (BMA) has "identified a number of key destinations" it is "eager" to serve from London Heathrow (LHR). They are Kiev, Minsk, Kuwait City, Lahore, Tel Aviv, Dammam and Sana'a. "Ten years ago, we had a network that was 100% short-haul domestic and European. From the end of October, more than half of our destinations from Heathrow will be in the mid-haul and long-haul markets," he said.
Bmi (BMA) is applying to operate daily London Heathrow - Tel Aviv service beginning in spring 2008 following a UK - Israel accord, that allows each government to designate a second carrier on the route.
The carrier also announced enhancements to its inflight product, including "improved" food and beverage service on mid- and long-haul flights, new amenity kits and expanded movie and television programing choices. Lie-flat seats will be introduced by the middle of this month on flights from (LHR) to Riyadh and Jeddah, and from Manchester to the USA and the Caribbean. On the latter services, a premium economy product featuring 49-inch seat pitch will be made available.
Bmi (BMA) said the integration of British Airways (BAB) routes formerly operated by BMED (BMR) has been completed.
Lufthansa (DLH) Systems (LHS) said it is dropping all further development of its Future Airline Core Environment (FACE) passenger management platform. The company cited "commercial reasons" for the decision. (FACE) was intended to support the core processes of passenger airlines, such as schedule distribution, reservations, inventory, ticketing and departure control. The next-generation system was touted as more flexible and more cost-efficient than traditional reservations systems. Lufthansa Systems (LHS) did not elaborate on the commercial reasons for its decision, but the move came on the heels of Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT)'s announcement that it planned to migrate to the Amadeus Alt'a passenger services platform. Amadeus also won the contract to build the Star Alliance (SAL)'s common reservations platform, which will be based on Alt'a. Lufthansa Airlines (DLH), the sister company of Lufthansa Systems (LHS), is a Star Alliance (SAL) member. Lufthansa Systems (LHS) said the three airlines that had signed on to be (FACE) customers - - Qatar Airways (QTA), BMI (BMA), and Garuda Indonesia Airline (GIA) - - still have valid contracts for its existing MultiHost system that can be expanded with Revenue Integrity, Self Service Devices, e-ticketing Hub and other modules. "We had planned to offer (FACE) to airlines as a passenger system that is based on new technology. In the development of this highly complex product, we had to rely to a large extent on products and services of different suppliers," the company said. "Since the project's launch more than two years ago, progress of the development work has been monitored constantly. After the latest review of the project's progress, and the quality of components delivered by external suppliers in particular, we could no longer assume that we would be able to provide our customers with a product that would meet their requirements within a reasonable time frame and at reasonable costs." Among (FACE)'s "external suppliers" was Unisys, whose AirCore product was slated to be "the heart" of (FACE). AirCore, built on Unisys' "3D Visible Enterprise" technology, provides transactional history and preferences from which future transactions can benefit. AirCore produces a passenger name record, but the file also includes a full view of the customer relationship, not just a specific transaction. Earlier this year, Lufthansa Systems (LHS) said it was investing €40 million in (FACE).
October 2007: Bmi (BMA) regional will add an eighth weekday Manchester - Edinburgh service beginning October 28.
The UK (CAA) published the Competition Commission (CC) report on price controls for London Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) airports for the next five-year period. The (CC) recommended that the maximum per-passenger charge at (LHR) rise to £10.96/$22.35 in 2008 to 2009, with charges subsequently increasing by no more than retail price index (RPI) inflation, plus +7.5% each year. For (LGW), it proposed that charges rise to a maximum £5.48 in 2008 to 2009, subsequently growing by no more than (RPI) inflation, minus -0.5% annually. This compares with projected charges for 2007 to 2008 of £9.28 per passenger at (LHR) and £4.91 at (LGW). In March, the (CAA) issued its own recommendations of maximum (LHR) charges of £10.29 in 2008 to 2009 and annual increases of (RPI), plus +5.8% thereafter, and maximum Gatwick (LGW) charges of £5.19 in 2008 to 2009, and annual increases of (RPI) plus +1% thereafter. The main reasons for the differences, it noted, "are the larger capital investment programs now in prospect at each airport, and the costs of delivering more stringent security processing and improving service quality in this area." The agency also noted that the (CC) found that both (LHR) and (LGW), "in failing to manage security queuing and queue times to avoid unacceptable delays to passengers, crew and flights, have acted against the public interest," and that the (CC) proposed that these problems can be remedied through a broadening and strengthening of existing service quality regulations. The (CAA) said it "cannot reject a public interest finding made by the Commission (CC)" and will be making proposals that remedy the adverse effects of the airports' conduct. With respect to price controls, the (CC)'s report is advisory rather than binding on the (CAA), which will issue for consultation its own firm price control proposals for the two airports by November 20, and make its final price control decisions in February/March.
Carriers were quick to complain. "At a time when competition between airlines has demanded that they drive down their costs and generate higher levels of efficiency to survive, we have had to endure inflation-busting increases for the last five years for indifferent levels of service. We are now facing even higher increases over the next five years with limited improvements until the opening of the new Heathrow (LHR) East terminal in 2012," bmi (BMA) Deputy CEO, Tim Bye said. EasyJet (EZY) said it failed "to understand why the British Airports Authority (BAA) continues to be allowed to increase its prices, despite serial failings in its service quality delivery. This would appear to be a reward for failure."
November 2007: 1st 6 months = 3.82 billion (RPK)s (-9.5%) traffic; 44 million (FTK)s (-43.9%) freight traffic; 4.39 million passengers (-7.1%).
Bmi (BMA) launched a reciprocal codeshare agreement with EgyptAir (EGP) on flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Cairo, effectively doubling the number of weekly nonstop services available to 14. The agreement follows on from the launch by bmi (BMA) on November 4 of a daily (LHR) - Cairo service, and the formal invitation of EgyptAir (EGP) into the Star Alliance (SAL).
bmi (BMA) will launch thrice-weekly (LHR) - Dammam flights early next year aboard A330s, bringing to three the number of destinations served in Saudi Arabia.
Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) signed a five-year Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement with bmi (BMA), and bmibaby (BMI) covering all base maintenance checks on bmi (BMA)'s 24 A320 family airplanes as well as its three A330s, the recently added BMED (BMR) fleet of eight A320 family airplanes and bmibaby (BMI)'s 21 737 Classics. The deal is valued in excess of >€50 million/$72.6 million.
December 2007: Lufthansa (DLH) Systems said it successfully migrated BMED (BMR) to its Passenger Management System following the carrier's acquisition by bmi (BMA), which also uses the system that handles processes such as reservations, ticketing and inventory.
Bmi (BMA) regional will launch six-times-weekly Nottingham East Midlands - Cologne/Bonn flights on February 11. Bmi (BMA) will launch a daily London Heathrow (LHR) - Tel Aviv service on March 13 aboard a two-class A320. It will be bmi (BMA)'s 41st destination from (LHR).
January 2008: Bmi (BMA) Group 2007 statistics: 8.52 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic -1.9%; -.1% capacity (ASK)s; -1.2 load factor for 68.3% LF. SEE ATTACHED COMPARISON CHART TO SELECTED OPERATORS - "BMI-2007-STATS."
Bmi (BMA) will add a second daily, London Heathrow (LHR) - Moscow Domodedovo frequency, and an eighth daily, (LHR) - Manchester flight on March 30 with an A320. Its summer timetable also will see the suspension of daily, (LHR) - Inverness service and seasonal flights to Alicante, and Nice.
The Airstream International Group arranged the sale of a former Jet Magic and Citelynx ERJ-135ER to bmi (BMA) on behalf of LCY Flight Ltd. Airstream said it was the 28th RJ it has sold in the past 24 months.
February 2008: Bmi (BMA) will lease two 757-200s to expand its medium-haul network further from London Heathrow (LHR). In December, Chairman, Michael Bishop said that bmi (BMA) was looking for additional capacity, possibly 757s or 767-200s, to support growth on several former BMED (BMR) routes that were performing well. The airplanes have been wet-leased from Astraeus (AUA) for two years with an option to extend. Two separate cabins will offer a mix of business (C) and economy (Y) service. Bmi (BMA) will use the 757s to introduce nonstop services from (LHR) to Almaty and Freetown, beginning May 1. Both routes currently are served with a stop. In addition, the airline's new (LHR) - Tel Aviv service, which it said is "selling beyond expectations," will upgrade to a 757 from an A320, shortly after the March 13 launch. The introduction of the two 757s also will enable schedule enhancements and increases in capacity to existing A321 destinations. Services from (LHR) to Yekaterinburg and Yerevan now will not operate to destinations beyond, thus boosting point-to-point capacity. An improved daily schedule between (LHR) and Tehran will be introduced, while flights to Dakar will be suspended. "The delivery of suitable A330 airplanes is a little way off and we do not want to delay the range of service enhancements unveiled today," CEO, Nigel Turner said. "By leasing the two 757s, pending the sourcing of suitable A330 airplanes, we are able to accelerate our Heathrow growth and ensure that we can maintain the momentum of our mid-haul route strategy, laying strong foundations for future developments in this important market."
The British Airports Authority (BAA), operator of seven UK airports, including London's Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick and Stansted, announced that CEO, Stephen Nelson will be replaced on April 1 by former British Airways (BAB) Director Technical Operations, Colin Matthews. The move comes after numerous operational meltdowns at (LHR) and amid calls from UK airlines to break up (BAA)'s "monopoly" in the London market, and as the UK Competition Commission conducts a formal antitrust investigation into the airports operator. Matthews' first day on the job will come just days after the long-awaited scheduled opening of (LHR)'s Terminal 5. Nelson, who has led the company since 2006, conceded that "(BAA) faced considerable challenges during my period as CEO," but touted the opening of T5 as "a landmark occasion" and boasted that the £4.3 billion/$8.5 billion "majestic building" is "on time and on budget [and] reflects all that is best about (BAA)."
Matthews, who worked for BA from 1997 until 2001, most recently served as CEO of Severn Trent, one of the UK's leading water and sewage companies. "No one underestimates the . . . difficulties we face on a daily basis in delivering [a high-level of service], but equally I am fully aware of how significant transforming our airports is for the future of this country," he said. (IATA) has called (BAA)'s service level "embarrassingly low." (BAB) praised the appointment and stated that its former executive "has a good knowledge of the aviation industry and of the needs of operators at our national hub airport Heathrow." Bmi (BMA) Deputy CEO, Tim Bye said that carrier has "significant issues with (BAA) and there are very significant challenges for Colin Matthews." Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) praised Matthews' appointment but, noting that he formerly worked for its main rival, said it will monitor him to "ensure that his background doesn't lead to further favoritism of (BAB)."
March 2008: Bmi (BMA) commenced a daily A320, London Heathrow (LHR) - Tel Aviv, its 38th route from (LHR). Its low-cost subsidiary, bmibaby (BMI) will launch twice-weekly, Cardiff - Barcelona on May 24, becoming thrice-weekly on June 18.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is allowing the British Airports Authority (BAA) to raise charges at London Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) by more than >20% next year. In its final decision on price controls at (LHR) and (LGW) for the five-year period ending March 31, 2013, (CAA) is increasing the price cap at Heathrow by +£2.44/+$4.92, or +23.5% in real terms, to £12.80 per passenger for the year starting next month. Charges in the four subsequent years could rise by +7.5% per year above inflation. At Gatwick, the price cap is set at £6.79 per passenger in 2008 to 2009, a +21% increase in real terms from the current cap. Charges in the next four years are allowed to increase +2% above inflation annually. "The (CAA) recognizes that the resulting increases in airport charges are significant. However, these higher airport charges are essentially paying for the modernization of Heathrow and Gatwick in terms of both facilities and service, for the direct benefit of the passenger," the regulator reasoned. It added that its package of price caps and incentives "will enable and encourage the (BAA) to deliver genuine service quality improvements and to invest to raise the level of facilities and service that can be delivered to passengers and airlines. The outcome for passengers should be decently modern airports and consistently high service standards." But airlines operating at the London airports reacted furiously. British Airways (BAB), which will benefit from this month's opening of the £4.3 billion Terminal 5, said the increases demonstrate conclusively that the airport regulation system has failed to the detriment of customers. "We suffer from very poor regulation and the whole process needs a root and branch review," General Manager Airport Policy & Infrastructure, Paul Ellis said. "The objective of the regulator should be to ensure that the (BAA) provides the infrastructure and services that customers require, but in a cost-effective and efficient way, that does not overcompensate the airport operator financially." Bmi (BMA), easyJet (EZY), Ryanair (RYR) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) joined forces to call for a fundamental regulation overhaul. "The dramatic price rises at Heathrow and Gatwick clearly demonstrate that the system is broken and needs to be changed," the four said in a joint statement. "That these price increases are significantly less than those demanded by the (BAA ) is a cause for alarm, not celebration, as the (BAA) has demonstrated that it is expecting the traveling public to pick up the bill for Grupo Ferrovial's highly leveraged speculative acquisition." See UK airports increases protests in attached - - "BMA-UK-AIRPORTS-MAR08."
(IATA) (ITA) condemned the UK (CAA)'s decision to allow significant charge increases at London Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW), saying that "failure is the only word to describe the (CAA)'s decision." (IATA) (ITA) claimed that the (BAA) generated an operating profit of +35% at (LHR), producing a net return on invested capital of 15.3% that was twice the level of the cost of capital set by the (CAA). (IATA) (ITA) Director General & CEO, Giovanni Bisignani argued that regulation should "not reward excessive monopoly profits and embarrassingly low service levels."
April 2008: Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) reaffirmed its well-known interest in acquiring bmi (BMA) and reportedly is seeking support from Lufthansa (DLH), which holds 30%-minus-one-share in bmi (BMA) and an option to acquire (BMA) Chairman, Michael Bishop's 50%-plus-one-share stake by the end of June 2009, for the tie-up. "We are very interested in a merger with bmi (BMA)," (VAA) External Affairs & Route Development Director, Barry Humphreys told "Sueddeutsche Zeitung," noting (DLH) could hold a stake in the new merged entity. Virgin (VAA) and bmi (BMA) held unsuccessful merger talks in 2003, but Bishop since repeatedly has stated that he is not selling his stake.
(DLH) declined comment, but (SAS) is prepared to sell its stake at the "right" price, "Thomson Financial" reported. "We are well aware that there may be limited interest for a 20% stake," an (SAS) spokesperson told the news service, adding that Virgin (VAA) has not contacted (SAS ), and that while (DLH) has no legal sway over its decisions, "they are our close partner so we'd want to discuss [a sale] with them." (VAA) is 51%-owned by the Virgin Group, while the remaining 49% is held by Singapore Airlines (SIA), which has left open the possibility of a divestment.
British Airways (BAB) is delaying until June the move of 120 long-haul flights to its troubled new Terminal 5 at London Heathrow (LHR) in order "to iron out" remaining problems, including the baggage system and other aspects of its operation. (BAB) had planned to shift long-haul services from T4 to T5 on April 5. "It is only sensible to ensure that Terminal 5 is operating consistently at a high standard before the move begins," CEO, Willie Walsh said in a joint statement with airport operator (BAA). "While a normal flight schedule has been operated at Terminal 5 recently, we want to ensure that customers can be confident of high service standards, when additional flights are introduced."
(BAA) CEO, Colin Matthews said the operator "regrets this postponement, and we recognize the impact it has on other airlines, but we believe it is a wise precaution." He conceded that "the (BAA) fully recognizes that the inauguration of Terminal 5 has not been as smooth as we and (BAB) would have wished."
(LHR)'s second-largest airline, bmi (BMA), protested the delay. "It is an absolutely outrageous announcement by the (BAA) and done with no thought, consideration or consultation of any other airline, other than (BAB)," CEO, Nigel Turner said, claiming the sequence of moves will affect more than >50 carriers. "The (BAA) and (BAB) have shown a total disregard for all other airlines and their passengers at Heathrow in coming to this decision because of their own shortcomings and their inability to implement an agreed plan."
See attached (BMA) plans - - "BMA-PLANS-APR08-A/B/C/D."
May 2008: The Bmi (BMA) Group reported pre-tax profit of +£15.5 million/+$30.6 million for 2007, a -47.8% decline from the +£29.7 million earned in the prior year, as revenue increased +12.9% to £1.02 billion, including £112.9 million attributable to the operations of BMED that were integrated fully in November.
Excluding the BMED operation (ATWOnline, Feb. 14), revenues inched up 0.5%. Pre-tax profit on continuing operations and before exceptional items was £9.3 million compared to £17 million a year earlier. The exchange of BMED (BMR)'s slot portfolio at London Heathrow delivered a profit of +£24 million, but this was offset by -£4 million in integration and redundancy costs, and -£13 million in operating losses. "Our underlying trading performance continues to be resilient against a background of difficult trading conditions throughout the aviation industry. The prospects for any significant immediate improvement remain unlikely, but we continue to invest for future growth and are well equipped to achieve it," Chairman, Michael Bishop commented.
Bmi (BMA), which includes the mainline (BMA), bmibaby (BMI) and bmi regional, increased traffic year-on-year by +10.8% to 10.84 billion (RPK)s on a +17.9% hike in capacity to 16.08 billion (ASK)s. Overall load factor lost -4 points to 67.4% LF. Passenger boardings rose +1% to 10.6 million.
CEO, Nigel Turner said the group's strategy remains unchanged, "which is to develop each of our three group airlines. Bmi (BMA) mainline is now developing as a fully fledged network carrier and is beginning to realize the potential of its substantial slot holding at London Heathrow (LHR)." It is not planning any services from (LHR) to the US A in the short term, "although they remain within our medium-term strategic thinking" because the former BMED (BMR) mid-haul network provides "significant opportunities for profitable growth," he said.
Bmi (BMA), in which Bishop holds a 50%-plus-one share, (SAS) holds 20% , and Lufthansa (DLH) holds 30%-minus-one share, decided for the first time to include the value of its (LHR) slot holdings on its balance sheet. "Following the "Open Skies" agreement between the USA and the (EU) during 2007, there has been a significant increase in the number of slot trade transactions. This increase in slot trading has led the directors to conclude that the conditions now exist to include a value of £770 million on the balance sheet in respect of the London Heathrow slots operated by bmi (BMA)," CFO, Robert Palmer said.
As a result, net assets at year end were £800 million compared to £12 million a year earlier. Palmer said this is "a much better reflection on the net asset value of bmi (BMA)."
A321-231 (3512, G-MEDN), delivery.
July 2008: Bmi (BMA) is planning to boost services to Saudi Arabia following a new bilateral agreement providing for an increase in weekly flights between the UK and Saudi Arabia to 35. "Bmi (BMA) intends to take full advantage of the opportunity this provides and will seek to add to its existing services from Heathrow to Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam," it said.
August 2008: The British Airports Authority (BAA) completed the long-awaited £13.3 billion/$24.81 billion refinancing of its seven UK airports, which it said will provide "a stable, long-term, investment grade financing platform for investment in [London] Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), and Stansted (STN) airports over the coming decades." Included is £3 billion of committed facilities to fund immediate investment projects across the seven airports: (LHR), (STN), (LGW), Edinburgh, Glasgow International, Aberdeen, and Southampton. The refinancing agreement comprises three main elements, including a corporate reorganization to separate financing of the three London airports and the four others into ring-fenced groups. The deal comes just days before the UK Competition Commission is expected to announce the findings of its investigation into domestic airport ownership. In its interim report published in April, the Commission said the operator's ownership of the seven airports "may not be serving the interests of either airlines or passengers." Later, the UK (CAA) stated that common ownership of the three London airports "is likely to prevent, restrict and/or distort competition." The anticipated report has led to a stream of speculation that the (BAA) might be forced to sell one or more of its facilities. Chairman, Nigel Rudd conceded to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) over the weekend, that he expected the watchdog to recommend a breakup of the company, yet he discounted claims that such a move would increase competition, due to (LHR)'s prime location. "Heathrow does not compete with Gatwick and does not compete with Stansted or Luton or Manchester," he said.
Rudd also claimed that there had been "huge expressions of interest" in (LGW) and (STN), but insisted neither was for sale at present. Manchester Airport Group reportedly is interested in (LGW), while other probable bidders include Hochtief, Macquarie, and Dubai International Capital.
September 2008: bmi (BMA) will double its London Heathrow - Moscow Domodedovo (DME) service to twice-daily on October 26 aboard an A320. (BMA) is interested in flying to St Petersburg as well.
October 2008: Bmi (BMA) and Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), which each have Lufthansa (DLH) as a shareholder, signed a code share agreement that will see bmi (BMA) add its code to SN (DAT)/(EBA) flights from Brussels (BRU) to Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, and Newcastle. SN (DAT)/(EBA) will add its code to bmi (BMA) flights from Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, and Nottingham East Midlands. According to bmi (BMA) Deputy CEO, Tim Bye, the agreement is not a result of (DLH)'s recent investment in SN (DAT)/(EBA). "We were not brought together by a common shareholder," he said. "It is just a straightforward commercial arrangement, which makes sense from our perspective, because it sort of doubles the number of Brussels routes from the regions we can sell, and similarly for Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), it gives them a much enhanced network."
Yet the common shareholder could enhance further cooperation between the carriers, Bye said, pointing to a possible Star Alliance (SAL) collaboration. "Lufthansa (DLH) has said that it will, in due course, probably be looking to propose Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) joining the Star Alliance (SAL), which we would certainly be supportive of if it was to happen. There is every prospect of the commercial relationship getting deeper than it is at the moment." Bmi (BMA) hopes to add in the "short-to-medium term" its seven-times-daily, London Heathrow (LHR) - (BRU), as well as beyond routes to the code share agreement. SN (DAT)/(EBA) currently codeshares with British Airways (BAB) on (LHR) - (BRU).
Bmi (BMA) likely will not be profitable for the full year and will trim winter capacity in response to declining passenger demand, Deputy CEO, Tim Bye said. "I think [a profit] will be unlikely owing to the high fuel prices combined with falling demand. [Bmi (BMA) Chairman] Michael [Bishop] said it's the worst he has seen in the 30-plus years he's in the business," Bye said, confirming that mainline winter seat capacity (ASK)s will come down -10% year-over-year. Bmi regional will reduce seats by -8% and bmibaby (BMI) by approximately -15%. "I think the industry will look quite different in twelve months time," he added.
Bmi (BMA) chartered several A320s from its mainline operations out for the winter and will shift some Embraer RJs from its regional division to the mainline at London Heathrow.
The best-performing segment is the medium-haul business, Bye said, noting that the carrier has enjoyed "some excellent results" from a number of those routes. "They are obviously all different, but in general, if there is one thing that has been working well, it's the medium-haul strategy." Bmi (BMA) added two 757-200s on a two-year wet lease to support the growth of its medium-haul operation, and the airplanes will stay in the fleet "for the time being," he said. It has taken delivery of the first of five A321-200s on order by former British Airways (BAB) franchisee BMED (BMD), which bmi (BMA) acquired one year ago. The second will come next spring.
However, it will not order the five A330s for which it received board approval in July 2007. It currently operates three A330s. "The A330s have not been ordered and I think for the time being we are cautious about adding any additional capacity frankly," Bye conceded. "We have taken two good decisions in the past year. One was not to order the A330s and the second one was not starting USA services from (LHR)" when the European Union (EU)-USA "open skies" agreement entered into force.
He also said the carrier is, despite the current environment, still receiving "regular approaches" to sell some of its (LHR) slots, but he stressed, "No, we are not selling any." Bmi (BMA) is Heathrow's second-largest slot holder after British Airways (BAB). In its latest balance sheet, the company increased its net assets by +£770 million/+$1.33 billion against its (LHR) slot holding. Bmi (BMA) Group reported a pre-tax profit of +£15.5 million in 2007.
bmi (BMA) is leaving its Ankara and Yekaterinburg routes this month, which it operated from London Heathrow (LHR). Bmi (BMA) will double the frequency of its (LHR) - Riyadh (RUK) service to six-times-weekly, effective January 15, following a revised air services agreement reached by the UK and the Saudi Arabian governments. Three weekly (LHR) - (RUK) services will continue to Jeddah (JED), and three to Damman. Simultaneously, bmi (BMA) will suspend its thrice-weekly, (LHR) - (JED).
Later, Lufthansa (DLH) will become bmi (BMA)'s main shareholder with an 80% stake, following the decision by bmi (BMA) Chairman, Michael Bishop to exercise his option requiring (DLH) to purchase his 50%-plus-one-share of the carrier he helped to found more than >30 years ago. The deal makes Lufthansa (DLH) the second-largest slot holder at London Heathrow behind (BAB) with a 12% share. The option, which was part of a 1999 agreement that gave (DLH) a 10% share in bmi (BMA), was exercised three weeks ago, but the action was revealed in (DLH)'s third-quarter earnings report. It posted a +€149 million profit, down -74.6% from the +€586 million earned in the third quarter of 2007.
(DLH) declined to reveal the price of the purchase, but reports suggest it is about £320/€400 million/$499.5 million. The transfer is expected to occur "not before January 12," according to (DLH), and is subject to antitrust and regulatory approval. "Discussions regarding the future structure and options, are ongoing between Lufthansa (DLH), Sir Michael Bishop and bmi (BMA)," it said.
(DLH) currently holds a 30%-minus-one-share stake in bmi (BMA) and the remaining 20% is owned by the (SAS) Group, which has expressed publicly its desire to divest. Bishop's decision comes as little surprise, considering the initial agreement and recent statements from (DLH) Chairman & CEO, Wolfgang Mayrhuber regarding his interest in the UK carrier. British Airways (BAB) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) also have had their eye on bmi (BMA).
Bmi (BMA)'s airlines flew 10.6 million passengers last year, and reported a pre-tax profit of +£15.5 million. It said that a 2008 profit was "unlikely."
The news overshadowed (DLH)'s third-quarter report. The Passenger Transportation segment posted a +€123 million profit, down -76% year-over-year, on a +0.3% rise in passengers to 18.9 million. The cargo division was +€51 million in the black, up +21.4%, while Lufthansa Technik (LTK) reported a +€72 million profit, that was down -7.7% from the year-ago quarter. "We are not satisfied with these figures," Mayrhuber said, adding that high fuel costs, falling demand, and the summer strikes have prompted (DLH) to launch a cost-reduction program, designed to realize approximately -€200 million in savings per year. He said last summer's strikes cost the company around €100 million. He also admitted that "we cannot continue" with the planned +2.4% winter capacity hike, which will be cut slightly to +2.1% excluding the new base at Milan Malpensa, scheduled to open in February. (DLH) expects passenger growth of +5.2% for the full year, and just +0.8% in 2009, but it has no plans to defer delivery of any of the 53 airplanes scheduled to arrive, including its first A380. Mayrhuber said each delivery will replace an "existing airplane."
(BMA) signed a three-year agreement with Sabre Travel Network, giving Sabre travel agencies and corporations access to inventory, including Web-only fares.
bmi (BMA) announced the promotion of Interim Commercial Director, Martyn Bridger to Commercial & Service Director, and Interim Marketing Director, Katherine Gershon to Sales & Marketing Director.
November 2008: Bmi (BMA) presently flies to Chicago O'Hare, Las Vegas, Antigua, and Barbados from (MAN).
Bmi (BMA) announced will discontinue long-haul operations from Manchester (MAN) next year and transfer the two A330s currently based at (MAN) to London Heathrow (LHR). It will stop flying from (MAN) to Chicago O'Hare on January 14 and to Las Vegas, Barbados, and Antigua following the mid-April Easter holiday.
"Long-haul services from Manchester have never performed to the levels that we had hoped, and we see little prospect of change or improvements in their performance," bmi (BMA) CEO, Nigel Turner said. "In sharp contrast, a number of our mid-haul routes from (LHR), including Cairo and Amman, are performing extremely well. They have clear potential for further growth." The carrier launched long-haul service from (MAN) in 2001, primarily because of its inability at that time to serve the USA from (LHR) owing to Bermuda II.
Bmi (BMA) launched a six-month trial of Mobile OnAir, offering passengers in-flight communications services including the use of Short Message Service (SMS)-enabled mobile phones/Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)s and Internet access from laptop computers fitted with Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) data cards. The service is being trialed on a single A320 operating between London Heathrow and Moscow. (BMA) is the first UK carrier to trial the service.
January 2009: Bmi (BMA) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) expanded their code share agreement to cover (VAA) passengers flying from New York (JFK) to London Heathrow and connecting on (BMA) flights to Amman (AMM), Beirut (BEY), Tel Aviv (TLV), and Tehran. It also will cover Newark passengers connecting to (AMM), (BEY), and (TLV), Boston passengers connecting to (AMM) and (BEY) and Los Angeles passengers connecting to (IKA). (VAA)'s long-haul customers will have access to (BMA) connecting flights to Aberdeen, Belfast, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Glasgow International, Leeds Bradford and Manchester.
(BMA) said it will terminate its London Heathrow - Jersey service on March 28, citing poor financial performance. Also, bmi regional will launch thrice-daily, Birmingham (BHX) - Aberdeen service on March 29. It is bmi regional's first route to (BHX). Bmibaby (BMI) will cease operating the route on March 27.
(BMA) gained approval to operate a five-times-weekly, London Heathrow - Kiev Boryspil service. The UK and Ukraine recently signed a revised air services agreement permitting increased capacity.
(BMA) has started a trial of "OnAir" in-flight non-voice communications on board an A320 operating between London and Moscow.
OnAir is a joint venture between Airbus (EDS) and (SITA). Communications specialist OnAir enables Internet access and transmission of email and text messages.
February 2009: Bmi (BMA) said it will stop operating its four daily services between London Heathrow (LHR) and Leeds Bradford and thrice-daily, (LHR) - Durham Tees Valley flights on March 28, citing a combination of falling demand, increased costs imposed by the British Airports Authority (BAA) and the UK government's decision to increase the Air Passenger Duty (APD). "The fact is that due in the main to (BAA)'s inflation-busting increases and changes to its pricing structures have placed a considerable disadvantage on short-haul flights," (BMA) Managing Director, Peter Spencer said. Ryanair (RYR) also has cited the (APD) as the reason for recent cutbacks in its UK service.
March 2009: The Bmi Group confirmed a -£99.7 million/-$137.2 million loss in 2008, reversed from a +£7 million profit the prior year, and said it plans to reduce costs by an additional -£45 million this year and is negotiating a pay freeze with employees. CEO, Nigel Turner said the results "were hit by the unprecedented and extremely challenging market conditions reported throughout the airline industry" in addition to the "reputational problems" at London Heathrow (LHR) caused by the "chaotic" opening of Terminal 5.
Full-year revenue rose +1.6% to £1.04 billion as passenger numbers dropped -5.7% to 10 million. The group flew 11 billion (RPK)s traffic in 2008, up +1.5% year-over-year, while capacity was static at 16.08 billion (ASK)s. Load factor rose +1 point to 68.4% LF.
Bmi (BMA) said 2008 fuel costs rose +£60 million net of fuel surcharge benefits and that charges at (LHR) climbed +£12 million "following another generous regulatory settlement by the (CAA) in favor of the British Airports Authority (BAA)."
This year will be "challenging" and "uncertain," bmi (BMA) warned. "We have taken steps to review all areas of the business to control costs and conserve cash against the continuing economic weakness in 2009," it said. Capacity has been cut "in all segments" save the "growing mid-haul sector," while gains in market share on certain routes have been offset by "down-trading and overall market conditions." It did not reveal the nature of the spending cuts other than the potential salary freezes.
Bmi (BMA) also said that Lufthansa (DLH)'s purchase of a 50%-plus-1 share in the company is on track to receive (EU) and (UK CAA) approval and should close in the second quarter.
SEE ATTACHED - - "BMAS-2008 LOSS."
April 2009: Lufthansa (DLH) informed the European Commission (EC) formally of its plans to acquire Chairman, Michael Bishop's 50%-plus-one-share stake in bmi (BMA), lifting its holding in the UK carrier to 80%. The (EC) set a May 14 provisional deadline for its initial review.
May 2009: The European Commission (EC) approved (DLH)'s proposed acquisition of bmi (BMA), stating that the transaction would not affect competition between airlines in the European Economic Area or within any substantial part of it. The (EC) noted that (DLH) and (BMA) already cooperate on many routes because both are members of the Star Alliance (SAL). It added that its investigation showed (DLH) would be "unlikely" to start operating flights on those routes on which it currently only markets flights operated by (BMA) and vice versa. "The (EC) therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition on any of these routes," it said in a statement. "The same conclusion was reached for all other routes where the parties currently do not cooperate, as . . . the combined entity would continue to face sufficient competition on these routes."
In its investigation, the (EC) treated Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) as a subsidiary of (DLH) because (DLH) is in the process of acquiring (DAT)/(EBA), although it noted that this was "without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation currently being conducted by the (EC) with regard to the acquisition of (DAT)/(EBA) by (DLH)." A ruling on that transaction is expected next month.
Despite obtaining the (EC) clearance, (DLH) confirmed it is not yet completing the takeover because not all contractual conditions have been fulfilled, Dow Jones reported. In December, (BMA) founder & Chairman, Michael Bishop exercised an option to sell his 50% plus one share stake to (DLH), which already owned 30% minus one share.
Earlier this month, reports surfaced that (DLH) is seeking a recapitalization of the loss-making UK carrier ahead of the agreed acquisition, but Bishop apparently dismissed the request. According to "Reuters," (DLH) wants all shareholders to inject capital in (BMA). (DLH) declined to identify to Dow Jones the conditions that have not been fulfilled, citing a confidentiality agreement.
Later, Michael Bishop initiated UK court proceedings to force (DLH) to purchase his 50%-plus-one-share stake in the carrier, according to multiple UK press reports. Bishop in December exercised an option to sell his stake to (DLH) (which owns 30% minus one share) for an estimated £350 to £400 million ($544 to $622 million) under the terms of a contract signed in 1999. (DLH) announced seven months ago that it would purchase Bishop's stake and the proposed takeover was cleared by the European Commission (EC). But (DLH) now is seeking a recapitalization of (BMA) ahead of the acquisition, a move it claims is covered by the "terms" of its accord with Bishop. He has refused and maintains he is under no obligation to do so. Legal proceedings were launched after (DLH) CFO, Stephan Gemkow was quoted as saying this week that (DLH) may "walk away" absent a capital injection.
British Airways (BAB) CEO, Willie Walsh said the airline would consider purchasing bmi (BMA)'s slots at London Heathrow (LHR) if they became available, the "Financial Times" reported. "In the current environment, it is difficult to argue we should go out and acquire those slots. Having said that, it may be the only opportunity we ever get," Walsh told the paper. (BMA) is the second-largest slot holder at (LHR) after (BAB) with about 12%.
June 2009: Lufthansa (DLH) took significant steps toward its acquisition of both bmi (BMA) and Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), resolving a financial dispute with the former and receiving European Commission (EC) approval for the latter. (DLH) announced an out-of-court settlement with (BMA) regarding its purchase of Chairman, Michael Bishop's 50%-plus-one-share stake, a transaction placed in jeopardy last month when Bishop took (DLH) to court over (DLH)'s demand for a recapitalization. Bishop agreed to accept a £175 million payment for the cancellation of (DLH)'s put option, which was tied to certain performance conditions. On July 1, a UK-based company called (LHBD) Holding will acquire Bishop's stake for "approximately" £48 million. (DLH) initially will hold 35% of (LHBD) and, once it obtains necessary traffic rights, will acquire the remainder.
(BMA) added its code to Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) flights from London Heathrow to six USA destinations, Dubai, Nairobi, and Delhi.
Airline Network Services of New York was appointed bmi (BMA) Cargo's USA General Service Agent (GSA).
July 2009: Lufthansa (DLH) CEO Group Airlines & Corporate Human Resources, Stefan Lauer was appointed Chairman of the six-member board of directors at bmi (BMA) effective immediately. He succeeds founder Michael Bishop, who is leaving the board. (DLH) Manager Hub Development & Capacity Management Frankfurt also was named to the board, joining Lauer, CEO, Nigel Turner, and Deputy CEO, Tim Bye as Executive Directors. (DLH)'s takeover of (BMA) was approved last month.
A320-232 (934), to Tame (TAM). A321-231 (3926, G-MEDU), delivery.
September 2009: Lufthansa (DLH) granted interested airlines access to bmi (BMA)'s books as it considers the fate of the UK carrier, which it was forced to acquire when Chairman, Michael Bishop exercised his put option last December. Sources told both "The Times" and "Dow Jones" that British Airways (BAB), Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), Flybe (BEE) and carriers in the USA, East Asia and the Middle East have signed confidentiality agreements and expressed interest in bmi (BMA) or its assets. (DLH) has not decided definitively if or when it will sell the airline, sources said. The Unite union confirmed that "(DLH) announced that it was inviting interested parties to carry out due diligence" and that it has asked bmi (BMA) CEO, Nigel Turner "to ensure that the workers at the carrier are not the last to know about their futures."
bmi (BMA) will eliminate service from London Heathrow to Palma (November 3) and Venice (November 15).
Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) and (BMA) announced an expanded code share agreement under which (BMA) will add its code to (DAT)/(EBA)'s twice-daily, Brussels (BRU) - London Gatwick service and (DAT)/(EBA) will place its code on (BMA)'s seven-times-daily, (BRU) - Heathrow flights.
October 2009: (SAS) agreed to sell its 20% stake in bmi (BMA) to Lufthansa (DLH)-related UK holding company (LHBD) Holding, effectively giving (DLH) full control over (BMA) when the transaction takes effect on November 1. Under the terms of the agreement, (LHBD), which already owned an 80% stake in (BMA), will pay (SAS) £19 million/$30.4 million for its 20% stake. (DLH) also agreed to pay (SAS) an additional +£19 million for the cancellation of rights relating to a 1999 shareholder agreement. (DLH) added that it will make further payments to (SAS) if it decides "to sell (BMA) completely or parts of the company . . . within the next two years." (DLH) currently holds a 35% stake in (LHBD), but (DLH) said it "expects to be able to acquire 100% of (LHBD)" in the near future.
It is unclear whether (DLH) will look to restructure (BMA) and hold onto all or part of it or will seek to sell all or part. It said last month that it had received interest from 12 potential buyers for a sale of (BMA).
Flybe (BEE) Chairman & CEO, Jim French said that (BEE) is interested in acquiring parts of (BMA) and has expressed that interest to (DLH). He noted that "(BMA) losses are much higher than previously reported." It's expected 2009 losses have been pegged at £150 to £170 million on revenue of around £1 billion by media reports.
(SAS) said it was divesting its interest in accordance with its "core (SAS) strategy with focus on the Nordic home market." It has been a shareholder in (BMA) since 1989. (DLH) has been poised to take full ownership of the carrier since it announced an out-of-court settlement in June to acquire former (BMA) Chairman, Michael Bishop's 50%-plus-one-share stake.
Bmi (BMA) appointed Jet Airways (JPL) CEO, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as its new CEO, effective December 1, succeeding Nigel Turner. The appointment is part of broader management shakeup, following Lufthansa (DLH)'s acquiring control of the loss-making UK airline. (JPL), meanwhile, selected Senior VP the Americas, Nikos Kardassis as its new CEO, effective October 15.
Turner is taking a non-executive role as Deputy Chairman, including carrying out "various ambassadorial roles." Prock-Schauer, an Austrian national who began his career at Austrian Airlines (AUL), will join (BMA) November 1 to serve as deputy CEO for a month before taking the helm.
"A successful turnaround is the basis for providing good future prospects for the airline, its staff and customers," (BMA) Chairman, Stefan Lauer said, noting that at (JPL) Prock-Schauer "has shown how a company can be successfully positioned and operate in a challenging environment marked by strong competition." (DLH) played down talk that the appointment indicated it no longer was interested in selling the airline, "The Daily Telegraph" reported.
In addition to the CEO change, (BMA) Deputy CEO, Tim Bye will leave the carrier at the end of this month. Mainline Managing Director, Peter Spencer and Commercial Director, Martyn Bridger left last month. Spencer was replaced by Dominic Paul.
Aegean Airlines (CRM) signed a code share pact with fellow Star Alliance (SAL) member bmi (BMA) to help boost its new London Heathrow (LHR) route
November 2009: Bmi (BMA) suffered a -€10 million/-$14.8 million operating loss in the first nine months of 2009, according to the interim report released by Lufthansa (DLH). (BMA) reported €301 million in revenue during the period and (EBITDA) of -€14 million. (DLH) was scheduled to become bmi (BMA)'s sole shareholder following the purchase of (SAS)'s 20% stake.
British Airways (BAB) CEO, Willie Walsh said (BAB) remains interested in acquiring bmi (BMA), mainly for its slots at London Heathrow, although it also has identified certain (BMA) routes that would be valuable to (BAB).
(BMA) struck a code share deal with Continental Airlines (CAL) under which it will place its code on (CAL) flights to Newark, and Houston Intercontinental from London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow International, Edinburgh, and Brussels. (CAL) will code share on (BMA) flights connecting through the aforementioned destinations as well as Belfast City and Amman.
Bmi (BMA) outlined a major restructuring of its mainline and regional operations, including suspension of unprofitable routes, reduction of its mainline fleet by nine airplanes to 30 and around -600 full time job cuts. The manpower reductions equate to approximately -13.5% of bmi's workforce of 4,470 and will impact all areas of the business. "Further job cuts cannot be ruled out," (BMA) warned. The moves follow the bmibaby (BMI) shakeup announced three weeks ago.
It said the overhaul "takes place against a background where the airline industry is facing the challenges of a downturn in demand and the worst recession in the UK since records began," while noting that in addition to cost-saving initiatives, the program includes a wide range of revenue enhancement programs and efforts to leverage synergies with parent Lufthansa (DLH) and other partner carriers "in all areas." Bmi posted a net loss of -£148.1 million/-$245.4 million in 2008 on revenue of £1.04 billion. Operating loss including exceptional items neared -£160 million.
Wholly owned by (DLH) since July, bmi will return two A321s and three A320s when their leases expire next year. It will not extend the leases of two of its three A330s in the first half of 2010 and thus continue to serve mid-haul markets with one wet-leased 757-200, one A330 and its fleet of A321s. Mainline fleet reductions also include the return of two of five Embraer airplanes to bmi regional. The regional operation therefore will have three surplus airplanes. It said it "is in discussion with potential customers with a view to mitigating this situation." (BMA) noted that bmi regional has maintained a viable operation through its niche market position and a long-term charter agreement with Airbus (EDS), although it is "feeling the impact of a prolonged downturn in business-type travel."
Mainline route closures include services from London Heathrow (LHR) to Brussels, Tel Aviv, Kiev Boryspil, and Aleppo in January and to Amsterdam at the end of March. Seasonal flights from (LHR) to Palma and Vienna will not be reinstated next summer
"Once stabilized, the business can then be grown again in the years ahead when the economic environment improves and market demand justifies it," bmi stated.
December 2009: Bmi (BMA) CEO, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said that he believes the "potential" exists to turn around (BMA) and confirmed it recently sold several London Heathrow (LHR) slots to address the group's liquidity shortage. "It is no secret that (BMA) had a £190 million /$308.9 million capital requirement, and we now have sufficient liquidity to get through the winter," Prock-Schauer said. "We completed slot sales at (LHR)," he said, while declining to reveal how many pairs were sold. "We have plenty of slots left to have a good network out of (LHR)." (BMA) also secured a £95 million loan from Lufthansa (DLH), which became (BMA)'s sole owner in June.
UK media speculated last month that (BMA) sold six pairs of takeoff and landing slots to Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) for around £60 million, allowing (CSR) to commence a six-times-daily, Geneva - (LHR) service on January 10. A Star (SAL) alliance airline CEO who requested anonymity said that all recent (BMA) slot sales were conducted with Lufthansa Group airlines and (SAL) alliance members.
Regarding (BMA)'s restructuring, Prock-Schauer said, "The target is to achieve breakeven in 2011. Once the group is back to profitability, all options are open. But now the focus is on restructuring." He promised that for the moment, the group will retain the current three airlines - - bmi regional, bmi (BMA) mainline and bmibaby (BMI). The latter two recently announced significant restructuring plans.
As part of the radical restructuring, nine airplanes will be retired from the (BMA) fleet in 2010 as leases expire, including two A330s. Services on loss-making routes, including flights from London Heathrow to Aleppo, Amsterdam, Brussels, Kiev, and Tel Aviv, will be suspended during the first quarter of 2010, and up to 600 jobs could be cut.
Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) signed a five-year contract with bmi (BMA) to handle "all aspects" of Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) for (V2500) engines powering the airline's 25 A320 family airplanes. The first services are expected to be carried out around the end of the 2010 first quarter.
Lufthansa (DLH) Systems signed a three-year contract with bmi (BMA) to implement its SchedConnect code share management solution.
January 2010: Bmi (BMA) will remain a Lufthansa (DLH) subsidiary for the foreseeable future. (LLH) has put an end to all of the sale speculations by officially announcing that it has no intention to sell bmi (BMA). It has however announced a restructuring plan that will see (BMA) returning two of its three A330-200s and three A320-200s and two A321-200s to the lessors during 2010 as well as cutting up to -600 jobs and more routes. Business Class (C) service has been dropped on all domestic services and flights to Dublin as of January 24. (BMI) has already given up its routes from London Heathrow to Aleppo, Kiev Borispol, and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion on January 10. It has also transferred the London Heathrow - Brussels route to sister carrier Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA) on the same day and will terminate its London Heathrow - Amsterdam services on March 27. It will replace the Amsterdam route with a new twice daily A320-200 service linking London Heathrow and Vienna that will be launched on March 28. (BMA) has signed a new code share agreement with Aegean Airlines (CRM) covering the London Heathrow - Athens route operated by Aegean Airlines (CRM) and connections via both hubs operated by the two carriers. It also has renewed and negotiated similar deals with both Air Canada (ACN) and Continental Airlines (CAL) for UK - USA and UK - Canada services operated by its two North American Star Alliance (SAL) partners. In addition, it is now code sharing on the two daily, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) 747-400 services between London Heathrow and Kuala Lumpur.
(BMA) will reduce its London Heathrow (LHR) - Dublin (DUB) service from seven-times-daily to four at the start of the summer schedule, ending the necessity to base an A319 at (DUB) and putting 33 cabin (CA) staff "at risk of redundancy," it said in a statement cited by Irish media. The airplane will be transferred to (BMA)'s (LHR) operation and the (DUB) cabin crew (CA) base will be closed. "Currently, (BMA) flight operations between (DUB) and (LHR) requires one airplane to be based at (DUB) and one at (LHR), with the additional cost of retaining airplanes and crew (FC)/(CA) at both bases," (BMA) said, adding that the move was part of a "further restructuring to its mainline operations" aimed at returning (BMA) to profitability.
(BMA) will cease offering business class (C) on flights from London Heathrow to destinations in the UK and Ireland from January 27. In addition, passengers purchasing higher "Flexible Economy" fares will be able to change tickets without a fee and will have access to lounges, reserved seats at the front of the airplanes and free food and beverages on board. It also announced the launch of twice-daily, London Heathrow - Vienna service on March 28 using an A320. Star Alliance (SAL) partner and fellow Lufthansa (DLH) subsidiary, Austrian Airlines (AUL) will code share.
March 2010: Bmi (BMA), which recently has been adding "British Midland International" to its name to emphasize its international route network, specifically in non-European Union (EU) markets served by the former BMED (BMD), is launching four-times-daily, London Heathrow - Berlin Tegel service on March 28 aboard a two-class A319.
Lufthansa (DLH)'s full-year result, which included an €8 million/$11 million operating loss by the Passenger Airline Group, was buoyed slightly by the +€93 million operating profit posted by its Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) subsidiary, the most successful carrier in the (DLH) stable.
(CSR)'s performance contrasted with the -€293.9 million operating loss at Austrian Airlines (AUL), a -€78 million deficit at bmi (BMA) and a +€24 million profit reported by Germanwings (RFG). The Lufthansa (DLH) mainline and affiliated regionals lost -€107 million. Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), 45% owned by Lufthansa (DLH), was not included in the company's full-year financials released last week.
(CSR)'s profit was down -68% from the year-ago surplus of +€291 million on a -14.3% decline in revenue to €2.77 billion. Passenger numbers rose +2.4% to 13.8 million, and load factor dipped -0.2 point to 80.1% LF. The airline said it "intends to improve earnings again in 2010. This is not solely to be achieved by further cost savings but also by higher revenue."
Austrian (AUL), which was merged into (DLH) in September, had a €31 million impact on the group's operating result. On its own, the negative (EBIT) was narrowed 5.8% from a -€312.1 million operating loss in 2008. Revenue dropped -20.3% to €1.96 billion and net loss reached -€324.9 million, improved from a -€429.5 million deficit in 2008. Passenger numbers were off 10.2% to 9.9 million, on a -11.2% cut in seat capacity. Load factor slipped -0.9 point to 74% LF. (AUL) intends to have positive cash flow this year and is targeting an operating profit in 2011.
Bmi (BMA)'s €78 million impact on (DLH)'s bottom line reflects its contribution since joining the group in July. Through the six months ended September 30, 2009, (BMA) reported an operating loss of -£111 million/-$168.7 million. (DLH) said (BMA)'s mainline fleet will be cut to 30 airplanes from 39, while bmibaby (BMI)'s will fall to 14 from 17. It said it "anticipates a further operating loss in 2010."
Finally, Germanwings's (RFG) operating profit of +€23.9 million marked a +300% improvement from the 2008 result. Revenue declined -7.6% to €580 million as (RFG) cut five A310s from its fleet. Passenger numbers decreased -6% to 7.2 million. It now operates 26 A319s.
September 2010: British Midland Airways (BMA) will launch daily, London Heathrow – Tripoli on December 1 on board an A319 in a two-class configuration.
December 2010: Bmi (BMA), a wholly owned Lufthansa (DLH) subsidiary, continues to target an annual cost reduction of -£100 million/-$156.9 million and hopes to bring (BMA) back to profit in 2012. “Next year will be the year of stabilization for us,” CEO, Wolfgang Prock Schauer said at the Star Alliance (SAL) CEO meeting in Queenstown, NZ. (BMA) posted a loss of -£198 million in 2009.
“We are currently in the process of adjusting our network,” he said, noting that this includes reducing frequencies on UK domestic flights. On the regional sector, (BMA) is focusing on operations at Belfast City, East Midlands, and Aberdeen. “We want to increase our presence in the Middle East and Africa where we already operate to 11 cities,” he said. “It is becoming clear that longer routes create higher margins compared to intra-European flights, which remain under pressure.” Long routes need an on board service upgrade, he noted, adding that (BMA) is installing new seats on its A321s. Our seven A321s are perfect for routes to the Middle East, which operate at a very good cost base,” he said, noting that the number of A321s could rise to 10.
A comeback of transatlantic routes is not on the agenda right now, Prock-Schauer said. “First we have to be fundamentally solid and to offer one of the world's best on board services,” he said. (BMA) will bring back its second A330-200, which has been wet-leased to other carriers. He sees (BMA) as a bridgehead for (DLH) at London Heathrow (LHR), where (BMA) holds 66 slots or 10% of the total. “This is an enormous asset because 10 of these slots will be used by other carriers. These slots will come back to us so we can grow further,” he said. Star Alliance (SAL) carriers in total hold around 30% of all (LHR) slots.
Bmi operates three airlines: bmi mainline (BMA), bmi regional, and Low Cost Carrier (LCC) bmi Baby (BMI). Its fleet comprises 18 Embraer EMB-135/145s, 14 737 Classics, 28 A320 family airplanes, one A330-200 and one wet-leased 757-200.
January 2011: BMI (BMA) has altered its trading name to "British Midland International." It has unveiled a new logo and visual identity to help strengthen its brand.
February 2011: British Midland International (BMA) announced A319 flights to two new cities in Norway and two new cities in Morocco, all from London Heathrow, where it holds more slots than anyone but British Airways (BAB) (yes, even more than Virgin Atlantic (VAA)). The Norwegian cities are Stavanger, an oil sector market, and Bergen, a gateway for tourists visiting the country’s fjords. The Morocco cities are Casablanca, the country’s capital, and Marrakech, a hot spot for European tourists. Service to all four markets begins in April. On the other hand, (BMA) is suspending London Heathrow flights to Glasgow, ostensibly in response to a big increase in domestic airport charges levied by the British Airports Authority (BAA).
(BMA) also will take over three of the four daily, Lufthansa (DLH) flights from Birmingham and Manchester to Frankfurt from March 27.
March 2011: Ukraine International Airlines (UKR) reached a code share agreement with bmi British Midland International (BMA) under which (BMA) will place its code on (UKR)'s Kiev Boryspil service to London Gatwick (daily), Brussels (five-times-weekly), East Midlands (five-times-weekly), Edinburgh (five-times-weekly) and Leeds Bradford (five-times-weekly), beginning April 1.
April 2011: Oman Air (OMR) and British Midland International (BMA) launched a code share agreement on April 1, covering service between Muscat and Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Belfast or Manchester via London Heathrow.
June 2011: Lufthansa Technik (DLOH) (LTK) signed two agreements with British Midland International (BMA), extending a base maintenance agreement covering 41 airplanes (25 A320 family airplanes, two A330s and 14 737s) as well as forming a new partnership for line maintenance support at London Heathrow (LHR), branded, "bmi, partner of Lufthansa Technik." The partnership will provide line maintenance up to (and including) "A" checks for narrow and wide body airplanes for (DLH) and (BMA) as well as for present and future external line maintenance customers at (LHR).
July 2011: The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it has launched a formal investigation into passenger and landing charges that took effect at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on April 1. The inquiry was prompted by a complaint from British Midland International (BMA) of discriminatory pricing against domestic and short-haul carriers.
(BMA), a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa (DLH), filed a complaint in January with the (CAA) arguing that (LHR) “unreasonably discriminated” against (BMA) and passengers on domestic routes by equalizing domestic and European Union (EU) passenger charges. It charged that the airport “unreasonably discriminated” against short-haul carriers (including (BMA)) by basing landing charges solely on noise values and that the company “unfairly discriminated” against (BMA) by not phasing in changes to its structure of charges over time.
(LHR) contended that its passenger charges were cost-related and its landing charges were based on the same criteria for all airlines and incentivized the best use of its scarce runway capacity. It added that it would not have been possible to gradually implement the revised charges as they affected airlines in different ways.
The (CAA) said it was “aware” that other airlines had concerns over (LHR)’s revised structure of charges and noted it had also received correspondence from regional interests expressing concern. The (CAA) said it decided to open a formal investigation because (LHR)’s “justifications need to be transparently and objectively substantiated.” It is specifically seeking clarification on whether (LHR)’s revised landing charges “fulfill its objective to incentivize more efficient use of its runways and cleaner and quieter flights” and if there is an objective justification for the new passenger charges, including a 25% transfer passenger discount.
September 2011: British Midland (BMA) appointed former Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Deputy CEO, Vagn Ove Sorensen to succeed Lufthansa (DLH) Executive Board Member & Group Airline Chief Officer, Stefan Lauer as (BMA) Chairman, yet another move indicating that the (DLH) Group is interested in selling its loss-making UK subsidiary.
(DLH) has reportedly mandated banks to look into a potential sale of (BMA). “We are open to take external advice in the event we do take the decision to sell (BMA),” a (DLH) spokesman said. He reiterated the divestment of (BMA) has “always been an option” and declined to comment on whether it had appointed a financial services firm as an advisor on the sale.
Lauer said that (DLH)’s options do include selling the loss-making airline. Lauer said Sorensen’s “experience with corporate restructuring is of particular importance and value to the company in this crucial period.” (DLH) noted that “the change makes sense in terms of good corporate governance by avoiding possible conflicts of interest that could result from a dual role as both a member of the (DLH) executive board and Chairman of the (BMA) board.” Lauer has been Chairman of the (BMA) board of directors since July 2009.
Several airlines (including British Airways (BAB), Virgin Atlantic (VAA)and Flybe (BAA)) have expressed interest in acquiring (BMA) or part of (BMA), which comprises (BMA) mainline, the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) bmibaby (BMI) and bmi regional.
International Airlines Group (IAG), parent of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), said it is still interested in acquiring (BMA) mainline, which would enable (BAB) to take advantage of (BMA)'s takeoff and landing slots at London Heathrow. “We have made no secret of our interest in (BMA)'s Heathrow slots,” an (IAG) spokeswoman told "Reuters." “Lufthansa (DLH) said a few weeks ago that they were looking at their options regarding (BMA), so the ball is firmly in (DLH)'s court. But there's nothing imminent happening from our side.”
The Lufthansa (DLH) Group is working with British Midland (bmi) (BMA) management to produce a long-term business plan that will return (BMA) to profitability.
(DLH) Executive Board Member & Group Airline Chief Officer, Stefan Lauer said that (BMA) had been affected by the recent North African/Middle East crises as well as the weak UK market. (BMA) reported a €63 million/$91 million first-quarter operating loss, which followed an operating loss of -€145 million in 2010, its first full year as a (DLH) Group airline.
“There is no doubt that (BMA) traffic suffers because the Middle East market has broken down almost completely,” Lauer said. He added that (DLH) Group management was working with (BMA) to identify a business plan. He pointed out that (BMA)’s London Heathrow slots are valuable, but said, “These slots are a real asset, but slots alone don’t make a business plan. There must be a long-term solution.”
The Lufthansa (DLH) Group is considering selling subsidiary, British Midland (BMA), (DLH) Executive Board Member & Group Airline Chief Officer, Stefan Lauer said. Lauer said (DLH)’s options include either selling the loss-making airline or creating a new partnership.
(BMA) reported a -€63 million/-$91 million first-quarter operating loss, which followed a -€145 million operating loss in 2010, owing to the crises in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the weak UK market. Despite the losses, Lauer said he didn’t think it was a mistake to buy (BMA). “The aviation scenario today has changed dramatically compared to 10 years ago,” he said, noting that (DLH) wants to find a solution quickly.
October 2011: After the first six months, the Lufthansa Group returned to a profit, posting an operating profit of +Euro 300 million, an increase of Euro 174 million over last year. This was despite the natural disasters in Japan and political unrest in North Africa. Wholly owned Swiss International (CSR) posted similar figures. The events in Japan and North Africa had a particularly adverse effect on the Group's other carriers, Austrian (AUS) and British Midland International (BMA), both of which recorded losses. However, Lufthansa Cargo enjoyed another productive period with an operating profit of +$133 million.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) CEO, Steve Ridgeway said (VAA) is interested in acquiring loss-making British Midland International (BMA)) from the Lufthansa (DLH) Group.
"(BMA) is very much up for sale and we are part of that process," he told "Bloomberg." "We would like to see if there is a way of putting these two businesses together." (DLH) is widely believed to be interested in offloading (BMA).
Ridgeway told "Bloomberg" that (VAA) and (BMA) "are complementary businesses." He emphasized that "nothing is decided at the moment."
(BMA) launched 3X-weekly, London - Amritsar A330-200 service.
November 2011: The International Airlines Group (IAG) (BAB)/(IBE) and the Lufthansa Group (DLH) reached an agreement for the sale of (DLH)’s loss-making British Midland (bmi) (BMA) to (IAG). The purchase of bmi (BMA) could increase (IAG) subsidiary, British Airways (BAB)'s share of slots at London Heathrow (LHR) to 53%, although regulators most likely will require some slot divestments.
“The sale and closing of the deal remain subject to conditions, including a binding purchase agreement, further due diligence and regulatory clearances. It is envisaged that the purchase agreement will be signed in the coming weeks and the aim is for the transaction to be completed in the first quarter of 2012,” (IAG) and (DLH) announced.
The companies did not detail whether the agreement is for the sale of the entirety of bmi (BMA), or just (BMA)'s mainline operation. Recently, bmi (BMA) confirmed it was “in advanced discussion” to sell bmi regional to a UK-based investor group “previously associated with the regional business,” indicating its owner was negotiating to divest its loss-making UK subsidiary in parts. It is not clear what will happen with (BMA)’s low-cost carrier (LCC), bmibaby (BMI).
Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), which was also interested in acquiring (BMA), said the deal is anti-competitive. “(BAB)'s hold over Heathrow is already too dominant and we are very concerned (as the competition authorities should also be) that (BAb)'s purchase of (bma) would be disastrous for consumer choice and competition,” (VAA) said. “With the government limiting growth at London Heathrow, they cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the deterioration of competition that would result.”
(BMA) reported a -€154 million/-$211.6 million operating loss for the first nine months of 2011, deepened from a -€90 million loss in the year-ago period, despite lower costs achieved by restructuring activities and the sale of six slots at (LHR). Those slots were either already leased to other airlines or could not be used profitably by (BMA). Revenue declined -5.5% year-over-year to €658 million and passengers carried fell -7.4% to 4.5 million.
December 2011: Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) and the Lufthansa (DLH) Group (LH) signed a terms and conditions contract on the sale of (DLH’s loss-making UK subsidiary, British Midland (bmi) (BMA).
The agreement follows a similar accord inked between (DLH) and British Airways’ (BAB)'s parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) last month.
(VAA)’s long-standing interest in (BMA) is based on its conviction that (BAB)’s position at London Heathrow (LHR) is too strong. The purchase of (BMA) could increase (BAB)’s share of slots at (LHR) to 53%, although regulators most likely will require some slot divestments.
“British Airways’ (BAB)'s hold over (LHR) is already too dominant and we are very concerned (as the competition authorities should also be) that (BAB)’s purchase of (BMA) would be disastrous for consumer choice and competition,” a (VAA) spokesman told UK media. “We believe that our offer will lead to the best outcome for the millions of consumers that fly in and out of (LHR) every year.”
The agreement with (IAG) did not contain an exclusivity clause but granted the holding company access to conduct due diligence on (BMA), a (DLH) spokesperson said. “We did the same with Virgin (VAA),” he explained. “Our aim is to find the [best] solution for Lufthansa (DLH) and for (BMA).”
Later, however, British Airways (BA) owner, the International Airlines Group (IAG) reached a binding agreement with the Lufthansa Group (LH) to buy British Midland Ltd (bmi) (BMA), the companies announced on December 22nd.
(IAG), the parent company of (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), will pay €207 million/$271 million in cash for the loss making (BMA), although the price is subject to significant reductions if (DLH) decides not to sell bmi subsidiary, bmibaby (BMI) before completion, the (IAG) said.
The deal is subject to regulatory clearance from competition authorities, including the European Commission (EC).
The companies said they aim to complete the transaction during the first quarter of 2012.
(DLH) has the option to sell bmibaby (BMI) and bmi regional before the deal is completed. (IAG) CEO, Willie Walsh said bmi regional and bmibaby (BMI) “are not part” of the company’s plans. “Buying (BMA)’s mainline business gives (IAG) a unique opportunity to grow at London Heathrow (LHR), one of our key hub airports. Using the slot portfolio more efficiently provides the option to launch new long-haul routes to key trading nations, while supporting our broad domestic and short-haul network,” he said.
The deal follows an agreement in principle signed in early November. (DLH) also held negotiations with Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), which said it would ask anti-trust regulators to block the deal.
“Claiming that this deal is about new markets from Heathrow is a smoke screen. This deal simply cuts consumer choice,” (VAA) Chairman Sir Richard Branson said. “(BAB) is already dominant at (LHR) and their removal of (BMA) just tightens their stranglehold at the world’s busiest international airport. We will fight this monopoly every step of the way, as we think it is bad for the consumer, bad for the industry and bad for Britain,” he said.
The purchase of (BMA) will increase (IAG)’s number of slots at Heathrow by up to 56 daily pairs at an airport where it already holds about 43% of the slots.
Walsh warned that “there is an urgent need to restructure” (BMA), but he said “(IAG)’s purchase of (BMA) will protect more British jobs than if the airline had been closed and had its Heathrow slots sold off.”
(DLH) CEO & Chairman, Christoph Franz said, “As part of Lufthansa (DLH)’s strategic development, the sale means that our customers, shareholders and employees will benefit from a sharpened corporate profile and a stronger financial position of the group.”
(DLH) will remain responsible for (BMA) staff pension liabilities.
(BMA) reported an operating loss of -€154 million/-$205 million in the first nine months of 2011, widened from a €90 million deficit in the year-ago period.
January 2012: All five Lufthansa (DLH) Group airlines carried a total of 106.3 million passengers in 2011, a growth of+ 7.5% compared to the previous year. The group’s capacity (ASK)s grew by +9.8% overall in 2011, while traffic (RPK)s rose +7%. Average passenger load factor fell by -2.2% to 77.2% LF.
Passenger boardings were 65.5 million, up +11.1% compared to the previous year. Capacity rose by +11.8% in the full year, while sales were up +8.8%. Load factor was 77.2% LF, down -2.2% year-over-year.
Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) carried approximately 16.4 million passengers, up +8% compared to the year before, but load factor dropped slightly by -1.1% to 81.1% LF.
Loss-making Austrian Airlines (AUL) transported 11.3 million passengers, up +3.4% compared to 2010, but load factor fell -3% to 73.8% LF, mainly because it is operating larger airplanes.
British Midland International (BMA), which has been sold to British Airways (BAB) parent (IAG), transported 5.7 million passengers, -7.4% less compared to 2010. Load factor fell -4.6%, to 67.1% LF year-over-year.
Germanwings (RFG) carried 7.5 million passengers, -2.7% less than the year before. Load factor increased slightly by +1%.
Lufthansa Cargo (LUB) recorded a +5% growth in its tonne-kilometers transported in 2011 and carried 1.9 million tonnes of freight and mail. Capacity grew by +8.6% in the full year, while sales were up +6.5%, resulting in a load factor drop by -1.4% to 69.5% LF.
“The trend of decreasing sales that emerged in the autumn continued in the remaining months of the year,” (DLH) said. “Group-wide, it proved not possible to match the level of sales growth recorded at the beginning of the year.” In the light of this development and ongoing economic uncertainty, the Passenger Airline Group plans to achieve a +3% low-level growth in (ASK)s in the full-year 2012. This will be realized by using larger airplanes and introducing the new Europe cabin on (DLH) Passenger Airlines' European routes.
British Midland International (BMA) has introduced new routes from both East Midlands and London Heathrow:
East Midlands - Frankfurt International: 3x daily ERJ-145 service has started on October 31 (operated by bmi regional;
London Heathrow - Beirut - Addis Ababa: 3x weekly A321-200 service has started on October 30 (replacing routing via Amman Queen Alia);
London Heathrow - Tripoli International: daily A320-200 service resuming on January 30.
(BMA) has introduced yet another code share agreement, this time around with Air India (AIN) covering UK - India routes operated by Air India (AIN) as well as domestic connections in both countries.
March 2012: The European Commission (EC) has given the go-ahead for British Airways (BAB) owner, the International Airlines Group (IAG) to acquire British Midland International (bmi) (BMA), saying any competition concerns were addressed by conditions that were proposed as part of the deal.
The decision, announced this month, requires (IAG) to give up 14 daily slot pairs at London Heathrow and to commit to carry connecting passengers to feed long-haul flights of competing airlines out of Heathrow. “In light of these commitments, the (EC) concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.”
In its proposal to regulators, the (IAG) offered to release 12 daily slot pairs at Heathrow, which could be used on the specific routes of concern, including the UK domestic routes, as well as on other European routes. In addition, it proposed leasing two Heathrow daily slot pairs to Transaero Airlines (TRX) for use on flights to Moscow. The (IAG) also said it would form special agreements with competing airlines that operate long-haul flights out of Heathrow to provide those airlines with connecting passengers.
"The commitments package includes an appropriate number of very sought-after slots at London Heathrow as well as far-reaching feeder arrangements as regards connecting passengers. We are therefore satisfied that the competitive dynamics will be maintained so as to ensure choice and quality of air services for passengers," (EC) VP Competition, Joaquín Almunia said.
(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said the company would move “as fast as possible” to integrate (BMA) into (BAB) and that (BMA)’s fleet would be repainted in (BAB) colors.
The (IAG) reached a deal worth €207 million/$271 million in December 2011 to buy loss-making (UK) carrier (BMA) from the Lufthansa (DLH) Group.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), which also tried to buy (BMA), had asked antitrust officials to block the deal, arguing it would harm competition.
Lufthansa’s (DLH) operating profit dropped by almost -20% to +€820 million/+$1.07 billion in 2011 and (DLH) expects to see profit shrink to a mid-three-digit million-euro figure this year. The group blamed aviation taxes and high fuel prices for the profit decline.
In addition, (DLH) announced a net loss of -€13 million/-$17 million for 2011 due to a larger-than-expected losses and disposal costs at British Midlands International (bmi) (BMA), which it is selling to British Airways (BAB) parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG).
The (DLH) Group transported 100.6 million passengers last year, up +8% over 2010. “Some (DLH) Group airlines could not match the difficult environment,” (DLH) Chairman & (CEO), Christoph Franz said during a press conference in Frankfurt. Germanwings (RFG) was hit the most, and was particularly affected by Germany’s ecological tax. “Without being a member within the (DLH) Group, Germanwings (RFG) would not [have] survived the new tax,” he said, adding that 5.4% of (RFG)’s turnover is needed to cover the tax.
Franz said the new German and Austrian aviation tax cost the company €361 million and made up 14% of its overall costs. Fuel prices increased +25% to €5.8 billion. The (DLH) Group’s operative margin is down -1.3% to 3.4%.
“The financial profile of our company remains stable but we need better results to secure the future of Lufthansa (DLH),” Franz said, adding that “ticket prices have to become more expensive.”
(DLH)’s latest cost-reduction program, "Climb" has created -€1 billion in savings over three years. (DLH) plans to cut costs by -€1.5 billion by the end of 2014, sell loss-making (BMA) and inject +€140 million of fresh equity into Austrian Airlines (AUL). “But -€1.5 billion must be the minimum,” he said.
Within the next six years, 170 new airplanes, valued at €17 billion, will be delivered to (DLH). (CFO), Stephan Gemkow said these airplanes will have to be financed. “The aviation market [has] changed completely,” Gemkow said.
Looking forward, (DLH) faces high costs in Germany, pressure from low-cost carriers (LCC)s and strong competition from Middle East carriers. “We have to rebuild our company and make tough decisions,” Franz said, adding that all areas will be affected. For the moment, he ruled out layoffs.
Gemkow expects 2012 passenger growth to be in the single-digit percent numbers. “Our growth in terms of capacity will be reduced to +2%, maybe a zero percentage rate,” he said. Fuel costs in 2012 will increase from €1.2 billion to €7.5 billion, even though 74% is hedged.
April 2012: bmi british midland (BMA) is expected to be fully integrated into British Airways (BAB) by October 28 when the (IATA) winter timetable period starts with its air operator certificate (AOC) to be returned by then (provided the appeal launched by Virgin Atlantic (VAA) turns out to be unsuccessful). It would then also retire its two remaining A330-200s (401, G-WWBD) and G-WWBM (398, G-WWBM).
(BMA) plans to wet-lease an A330-200 from Meridiana fly (AlS) from May 19 to replace its A330-200 (398, G-WWBM) that will be withdrawn from the fleet. (BMA) is still expected to continue offering A330-200 services until its full integration into British Airways (BAB)'s operation from the start of the (IATA) winter timetable season. Its first A320-200 (1177, G-MIDX) is currently being repainted in (BAB) colors and reconfigured at the East Midlands airport (EMA) base.
Lufthansa (DLH) has not been able to find any buyers for bmibaby (BMI) and bmi regional ahead of a deadline that had been agreed to as part of its agreement to sell bmi british midland (BMA) to the International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE). The (IAG) has announced that it will receive an undisclosed discount on the price paid for (BMA) as the deadline could not be met by Lufthansa (DLH). This discount will cover its expenses to either finance operations at the two (BMA) subsidiaries until a buyer can be found or to close down the carriers if that is not the case. (BMA) has left the Star (SAL) Alliance as part of the transaction.
Click below for photos:
0 737-229 (JT8D HK) (431-21176, G-CEAI), (EUL) WET-LSD 2003-07. RTND.
1 737-3l9 (CFM56-3C1) (2688-27833, /95 G-OGBD), (OXA) LSD, bmibaby (BMI) OPS 2004-02. 148Y.
1 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2139-24962, /91 G-BYZJ), EX-(VAR)/(ANW), (GEF) 4 YR LSD 2000-01, bmibaby (BMI) OPS. 148Y.
1 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2193-24963, /92 G-OBMP), EX-(ILF), (TOM) LSD, bmibaby (BMI) OPS. NAMED "baby E.T." HAS PROMOTIONAL BANNER FOR E.T.-THE EXTRA-TERRESTIAL DVD & VIDEO" ON THE TAIL. 148Y.
0 737-33A (CFM56-3) (1831-24460, /90 G-0BMH) (24461 TO (ANS) 2000-11) (24092 TO (BBB), LST (GFL) 1998-11), 1 TO (GBA), 24460 RTND (AWW) 2001-03. 148Y.
2 737-36N (CFM56-3C1) (2835-28554, /96 G-ECAS; 2832-28557, /97 G-SMDB; 2876-28558, /97 G-OJTW), (GEF) LSD. 28557 RTND 2002-03. (BMI) OPS. 148Y.
1 737-37Q (CFM56-3) (2904-28537, /97 G-ODSK), (NOV) LSD, bmibaby (BMI) OPS. 148Y.
0 737-4Q8 (CFM56-3) (2239-26280, /92), RTND (TOM), LST (ARE) 2000-06.
0 737-4Y0 (CFM56-3C1) (1676-25177, /91 G-OBMM), (DEA) LSD, 25177 TO (DBA), 23868 TO (TOI).
0 737-46N HGW (CFM56-3) (2886-28723, /97 G-SFBH), FNBC LSD, RTND 2002-05.
3 737-5Q8 (CFM56-3B1) (2114-25160, /91 G-BVZG; 2129-25166, /91 G-BVZH; 2173-25167, /91 G-BVZI), EX-(LNJ), (ILF) LSD. 25160; 25166; 25167; (BMI) OPS. 131Y.
0 737-5YO (CFM56-3) (2220-25185, /92), EX-(TES), RTND (GUI), LST (ROS) 2000-11. 131Y.
0 737-53A (CFM56-3) (1868-24754, /90 G-OBMZ), EX-(LNJ)/(SAS), RTND (BBB), LST (BAB).
5 737-59D (CFM56-3B1) (1834-24694, /90 G-BYKA; 1872-24695, /90 G-BYKC; 2028-25065, /91 OY-SEG), (BBB) LSD TIL 2003-04. (2592-27268, /94 G-BVKB; 2279-26421, /92 G-BVKD; 2412-26422, /93 G-BVZE; (SAS) LSD), EX-(SAS). 25065 RTND (BBB), LST (LUX) 2001-04. 27268; 26422; (BMI) OPS. 131Y.
0 757-27B (302-24838, TF-FIW), (ICE) WET-LSD 1 MTH TIL 2003-07.
0 757-208 (281-24760, TF-FII), (ICE) WET-LSD 2005-05. RTND 2005-10.
2 757-28A (RB211-535E4) (130-23822, G-OOOB), EX-(ATZ), (AUA) 2 YR WET-LSD 2008-02. 148Y.
1 757-28AER (28161, G-STRY), (AUA) 2 YR LSD. 201Y
1 767, LSD 2006-04, IN STAR ALLIANCE LIVERY.
0 767-31AER (595-27619, PH-MCV), (HOL) WET-LSD 2006-01. (AGAIN) 2007-09 FOR 6 WKS. RTND.
4 ORDERS A310.
9 A319-131 (V2524-A5) (2098, /04 G-DBCA; 2188, /04 G-DBCB; 2194, /04 G-DBCC; 2389, 2005-02 G-DBCD; 2429, G-DBCE, 2005-03; 2466, G-DBCF, 2005-05; 2694, G-DBCG, 2006-02; 2697, G-DBCH, 2006-02; 2720, G-DBCI, 2006-05), (ILF) LSD. 130Y.
2 A319-131 (2981, G-DBCJ, 1/07; 3049, G-DBCK, 3/07), (DEA) LSD. 130Y.
10 + 1 OPTION A320-232 (V2527-A5) (934, /98 G-MIDZ; 1014, /99 G-MIDY), (ILF) 7 YR LSD, (1177, /00 G-MIDX; 1183 /00 G-MIDW) (1383, /00 G-MIDV; 1407, /01 G-MIDU; 1418, /01 G-MIDT; 1424, /01 G-MIDS*; 1922, G-MEDH; 2441, G-MEDK). (1732, /02 G-MIDP. 1987, /03 G-MIDO). 934; TO (TAM) 2009-08. 1183; 1404; RTND. 1424; IN "STAR ALLIANCE" COLORS. 1177; BEING PAINTED IN (BAB) COLORS 2012-04. 156Y.
9 A321-231 (V2533-A5) (806, /98 G-MIDA; 835, /98 G-MIDC) (835 WET-LST (ATZ) (810, /98 G-MIDF) (864, /98 G-MIDE; 1045, /99 G-MIDJ) (DEA) 7 YR LSD), (ILF) 7 YR LSD, 806 DAMP-LST (COT) 1999-06 - 1999-10, 1045, G-MIDJ LST (DLH) 6 MTHS 1999-11 (1153, /99 G-MIDK; 1174, /00 G-MIDL; 1207, /00 G-MIDM; 1690, G-MEDF; 1711, G-MEDG; 2190, G-MEDJ; 2653, G-MEDL; 2799, G-MEDM; 3512, G-MEDN, 2008-05; 3926, G-MIDU, 2009-07). (3924 ON ORDER). 1207 WET-LST (ATZ) 2001-05. 806, G-MIDA STORED 2001-12. 1207 WET-LST (HOL) 2006-06. 1174; RTND. 31C, 118Y.
3 +2/6 OPTIONS A330-243 (TRENT 772B-60) (398, /01 G-WWBM), 2ND 1 YR LST (SAS) 2001-05 (401, /01 G-WWBD; 404, /01 G-WWBB), (ILF) 8 YR LSD. 405, G-WWBC. 401; 404, WET-LST (SAA) 2002-12. 4TH ORDER CANCELED. 401; WET-LST (VNA) 2007-01. 24C, 220Y.
0 F 70 (TAY 620-15). 11539 RTND 2002-10. LAST 2 RTND. 75 PAX, 2 CLASS.
0 F 100 (TAY 650-15) (11488, /94 G-BVJB; 11497, /94 G-BVJC; 11503, /94 G-BVJD; 11327, /90 G-BXWE; 11328, /90 G-BXWF), ALL FOKKERS TO BE REPLACED BY A318'S. 11488 RTND 2004-08. 11497; 11503; 11327; RTND. 101Y.
0 B AE 146-200 (E2034, RTND B AE, LST (QAN) 2000-06).
0 B AE ATP (PW126). 2 RTND.
1 B AE JETSTREAM 41.
1 DHC-7-102 (PT6A50).
6 SAAB 340A.
3 SAAB 340B.
2 +2 ORDERS ERJ-135, 37 PAX.
10 +1/5 ORDERS EMBRAER ERJ-145 (AE3007A1/1) (136, /99 G-RJXA; 142, /99 G-RJXB; 153, /99 G-RJXC), 1 WET-LST (DLH) 2000-04, 113 SKYWAYS WET-LSD 2000-06; 280, /00 G-RJXF, FOR BMI REGIONAL OPS. 49Y.
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BMA-1-SIR MICHAEL BISHOP
BMA-2-WOLFGANG PROCK SCHAUER CEO
SIR MICHAEL BISHOP, FOUNDER.
VAGN OVE SORENSEN, CHAIRMAN, EX-(SAS) (2011-09)
NIGEL TURNER, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (2009-10).
WOLFGANG PROCK-SCHAUER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO), EX-(JPL) (2009-12), MOVED TO AIR BERLIN (BER) AS CHIEF STRATEGY & NETWORK PLANNING OFFICER EFFECTIVE (2012-10).
DAVID BRYON, MANAGING DIRECTOR bmiBaby (BMI) (2005-01).
ALEX GRANT, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO).
SIMONE MENNE, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO).
ALAN BIRD, FINANCIAL DIRECTOR (2004-10).
CAPTAIN GEOFF LINAKER, DIRECTOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS (2002-12).
CAPTAIN JOHN ROBERTSON, HEAD FLIGHT OPERATIONS, bmibaby (BMI) (2003-02).
DAVID HODGE, HEAD OF MARKETING bmibaby (BMI) (2004-01).
NEIL TOLEFREE, HEAD UK SALES (2005-07).
IAN DAVIES, DIRECTOR ENGINEERING (EMACOBD), (email@example.com).
RICHARD DAWSON, DIRECTOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT).
ANDY COOKSON, DIRECTOR GROUND SERVICES & CARGO.
KATHERINE GERSHON, SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR (2008-10).
MARTYN BRIDGER, COMMERCIAL & SERVICES DIRECTOR, (2008-10), LEFT (BMA) (2009-09).
DAVID EXON, LINE MAINTENANCE MANAGER (1999-10).
PETER HORNER, MANAGER QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA) (EMACOBD) (firstname.lastname@example.org).
MARTIN WIDMAN, MAINTENANCE BASE MANAGER (1996-10).
BERNARD TASSI, PROJECT & JET FLEET MANAGER.
CHRIS HOOLEY, MAINTENANCE PLANNING MANAGER (1996-10).
TERRY BATEMAN, MAINTENANCE CONTROL MANAGER.