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BMI-2002-05 START UP
BMI-2006-01 TOP LCC 2005
BMI-TAIL LOGO SURFS UP 2012-01
Formed in 2002. Domestic and international, scheduled, passenger, jet airplane services.
PO Box 737
Donington Hall, Castle Donington
Derby, Derbyshire DE74 2XP, Great Britain
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.
May 2004: Manchester - Jersey.
June 2004: 737-223 (20907), European AirCharter (EUL) wet-leased.
August 2004: In January 2004, Birmingham - Alicante, Amsterdam, Belfast (International), Edinburgh, Geneva, Knock, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, & Prague.
October 2004: Will implement Sabre AirMax LowFares Manager, a revenue management solution designed for the low-fare industry.
November 2004: Tony Davies, Managing Director resigned to become CEO of Tiger Airways (TGR). Alex Grant, COO.
In January 2005, London Gatwick - Shannon, Knock (daily). In March 2005, Birmingham - Cork, Durham Tees Valley - Paris (CDG). Resumes Manchester - Bordeaux. Durham Tees Valley - Cork. In June 2005, Birmingham - Bordeaux, Nice, Murcia.
3 737-3Q8's (26310, G-BZZE; 26311, G-BZZF; 26312, G-BZZG), ex-Buzz (BZZ), (ILF) leased.
January 2005: David Bryon, Managing Director, 38, bmiBaby (BMI).
2004 = 78% LF load factor (+7); 3.2 million passengers (PAX) (+16%).
May 2005: +3 orders (10) 737-300's to increase its fleet from 16 to 19 airplanes. David Bryon, Managing Director commented "The additional airplanes will mean that by 2006, >4.5 million passengers will be flying with bmiBaby, consolidating the airline as the second-largest low-cost carrier based in the UK. During 2005, plans to carry close to 4 million passengers on more than >50 UK and European routes from the five UK bases."
1 737-33A (27455, G-TOYE), ex-Virgin Express (EBA), AWAS (AWW) leased.
July 2005: Steve Burns, Commercial Director.
October 2005: BmiBaby (BMI) will increase the midweek frequency of its East Midlands to Edinburgh service from 2 to 3 flights a day starting on October 31st.
3 737-36N's (28557; 28570; 28872), ex-EasyJet (EZY)/Go Fly (GFL).
November 2005: bmibaby (BMI) will base a second airplane at Durham Tees Valley Airport while also increasing routes and doubling the number of weekly flights to 86 starting March 28. The bmi (BMA) low-cost spinoff will re-add Newquay and launch a new route to Knock, bringing to nine the total of destinations it will serve from the airport. (BMI) will also increase Paris (CDG) service from 4X weekly to 1X daily. On October 30, it commenced a 6X weekly to London Gatwick.
(BMI) announced its 2006 summer schedules which starts on March 28th. Amongst the highlights is the increase of service on the Birmingham to Edinburgh route from 2 to 3 flights a day. (BMI) will base a 5th 737 at East Midlands. This will allow the resumption of service to Paris (CDG) with 2 flights a day from Sundays through Fridays and 1 on Saturdays. (BMI) is adding a total of 3 737-300's taking the fleet to 19 and is also planning new routes from Cardiff to Amsterdam and Glasgow International as well as from Durham Tees Valley to Knock and Manchester to Newquay and Perpignan.
January 2006: 737-36N (28872, G-TOYG), delivery.
June 2006: Bmibaby (BMI) signed Air Fayre as its new in-flight catering supplier. Air Fayre will manage a diverse range of buy-on-board products including refreshments, fragrances, gifts and (BMI)-branded merchandise.
July 2006: bmiBaby (BMI) is a low-fare carrier which was set up by BMI British Midland (BMA) and based at Nottingham/East Midlands airport, operating services to European destinations.
(IATA) Code: WW. (ICAO) Code: BMI.
Parent organization/shareholders: BMI (BMA) (100%).
Alliances: Air Wales; & GermanWings (RFG).
Main Base: Derby/Leicester/Nottingham/East Midlands Airport (EMA).
Hubs: Birmingham International airport (BHX); Cardiff International airport (CWL); Durham Tees Valley airport (MME); & Manchester airport (MAN).
Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Belfast; Birmingham; Cardiff; Durham Tees Valley; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Jersey; London; Manchester; & Nottingham.
International, Scheduled Destinations: Alicante; Amsterdam; Bordeaux; Cork; Faro; Geneva; Knock; Malaga; Nice; Palma de Mallorca; Paris; & Prague.
August 2006: Bmibaby (BMI) announced that its 189 pilots (FC) represented by the British Air Line Pilots Association (BALPA) voted not to strike, with just 47% voting in favor of a work stoppage. (BALPA) began balloting pilots earlier this month. "(BALPA) have requested a meeting with us to attempt to find a way through the dispute and we are reflecting on that proposal," the carrier said. " (BMI)'s offer of negotiations for a multiyear pay deal for 2007 onwards remains on the table."
Bmi (BMA) mainline and regional pilots (FC) represented by (BALPA) began voting on whether to authorize a strike action. Balloting at (BMI) started previously. 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 (FC) at each of the divisions, but that they are united against the "imposition" of a +2.4% pay increase. Mainline pilots (FC) 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 (FC) in the decisions was a "disgrace in this day and age." (BALPA) said more than >70% of (BMA)'s approximately 700 pilots (FC) are members.
Later, (BMA) faces pilot (FC) strikes following a vote by (BALPA) members who fly for the mainline, bmi regional and (BMI) units. Mainline pilots (FC) approved strike action by an 89% to 11% margin while 86% of regional pilots (FC) voted to strike. (BMI) pilots (FC) were balloted, with 73% voting to strike. (BMI) had said that just 47% of (BMI) pilots (FC) favored a work stoppage, but the union contradicted that figure. "One could be an accident, two a coincidence, but with all three pilot (FC) groups supporting strike action, we have revealed a real feeling of injustice among pilots (FC). 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 (FC) have had pension contributions increased to 18.5% from 10%, regional pilots (FC) "have poor roster arrangements which become unmanageable as a result of fatigue-inducing changes" and (BMI) pilots (FC) had take-home wages "cut without any consultation whatsoever."
(BALPA) said it has not established a strike date and that "crisis talks" with (BMI) will start soon, adding that it requested the involvement of the (ACAS) arbitration service. "We will approach the concerns raised by (BALPA) constructively," (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.
September 2006: Bmibaby (BMI) pilots (FC), represented by the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), reached a deal with the (BMI) and will not strike, the union announced. (BMI) has signed the agreement, which has been sent to membership for ratification. The pilots (FC), along with those at (BMA) and bmi regional, voted to strike late last month over a variety of compensation and work rule issues. No deal has been reached with the other two groups, also represented by (BALPA). "We had intense negotiations over seven days and we made substantial progress," (BALPA) General Secretary, Jim McAuslan said of the (BMI) talks. "The agreement doesn't undo the imposed 2006 pay rise but generates far better lifestyle options for pilots in what is a very intensive industry." Concerning mainline and regional pilots (FC), McAuslan said progress has been made on "understanding the reasons for the mutual distrust" and that "if the same creativity and intelligence is applied to those talks as we have been able to generate in (BMI), then we will be better able to find a way through." A strike date has not been announced.
(BMI) said it will launch a twice-daily Birmingham (BHX) - Aberdeen service on October 29 aboard 737s. Aberdeen is the carrier's 13th destination from (BHX). (BMI) will discontinue service at Durham Tees Valley Airport. Flights to Cork, London Gatwick and Paris will end on October 29th. Flights to Alicante, Malaga and Palma will end on November 6th.
(BMI) will expand its operation at Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Nottingham East Midlands next summer with the addition of two 737s and redeployment of another pair, (BMI) announced, adding it is in "advanced discussions with its airport partners regarding potential route expansion opportunities." (BMI) currently has 17 airplanes based at the four British airports, where it is "experiencing proven solid growth in line with our financial forecasts," according to Managing Director, Crawford Rix.
(BMI) announced a further expansion at Birmingham (BHX) from January. "We will be increasing our capacity by +60% year-on-year as we increase the number of 737s operating from the airport [from five] to eight," Commercial Director, Steve Burns said at the Routes conference in Dubai. (BMI) will introduce one aircraft at (BHX) in January, with the additional two arriving at the start of the summer season.
October 2006: Bmibaby (BMI) will terminate operations at Durham Tees Valley Airport (MME) in northeast England. Flights between (MME) and Cork, Paris (CDG) and London Gatwick will be cancelled from October 29; all services between Durham Tees Valley and Alicante, Malaga and Palma will be cancelled from November 6. (BMI) did not provide a reason for closure of the base, which it opened in October 2003, but earlier this month new Managing Director, Crawford Rix said (BMI) would be focusing its summer 2007 expansion program "on airports where we are experiencing proven solid growth in line with our financial forecasts." During the next summer timetable, (BMI) will bring in two additional airplanes to take the total fleet to 21.
November 2006: Bmibaby (BMI) will launch service from its Birmingham (BHX) base to Glasgow International (daily on Saturdays, twice-daily on Sundays, & thrice daily on weekdays), Faro (thrice-weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays) and Murcia (five-times-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays) from March 25. The Low Cost Carrier (LCC) intends to add more new destinations from (BHX) later next year, according to Managing Director, Crawford Rix.
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 (BMR).
"Bringing (BMR) into the (BMA) group, creates a business with a turnover in excess of £1 billion with substantial growth opportunities. The acquisition enables the (BMA) group to accelerate its strategy of expansion into medium-haul markets," group CEO, Nigel Turner said.
(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 (BMA)'s A320 family airplanes. It has no overlap with any (BMA) route.
For a while, privately held (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.
(BMA) said it reached an agreement with (BAB) that will see the franchise deal and any other commercial accords continue through the end of the summer 2007 timetable. (BMR) CEO, David Richardson will retain his position and report to Turner.
(BMI) will base an additional 737 at Birmingham, lifting its (BMI) fleet to nine. (BMI) will launch four-times-weekly service to Jersey, and increase daily frequencies to Edinburgh and Glasgow International.
Starting March 27th, Cardiff - Jersey; & - Murcia, using 737s. Starting May 24th, Birmingham - Jersey, using 737s.
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, (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.
(BMA) 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 (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) starts Birmingham - Jersey, - Marseille. Starting June 30th, East Midlands - Ibiza. Starting July 16th, Cardiff - Ibiza. On September 7th, stops East Midlands - Ibiza.
October 2007: Bmibaby (BMI) will launch flights from Cardiff to Warsaw (thrice-weekly) and Gdansk (twice-weekly) on February 9, and from Nottingham East Midlands to Warsaw (four-times-weekly) and Gdansk (thrice-weekly), the following day.
November 2007: Bmibaby (BMI) will launch thrice-weekly, Glasgow - West Knock flights and twice-weekly, Birmingham - Krakow service from February 12. The new flights to Krakow will bring to 23 the destinations served by the carrier from Birmingham.
Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) signed a five-year Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement with bmi (BMA), and (BMI) covering all base maintenance checks on (BMA)'s 24 A320 family airplanes as well as its three A330s, the recently added BMED (BMR) fleet of eight A320 family airplanes and (BMI)'s 21 737 Classics. The deal is valued in excess of >€50 million/$72.6 million.
December 2007: bmibaby (BMA) commenced four-times-weekly, Birmingham - Madrid flights. Service becomes six-times-weekly next summer.
July 2007: 1 order (May 2008) 737-36E (27626), ex-(EI-CSU), (ILF) leased.
January 2008: Bmibaby (BMI) announced the following new routes: Birmingham to Bergamo (thrice-weekly, from April 1), Madrid (already launched), and Krakow (thrice-weekly, from February 12); Cardiff to Gdansk (twice-weekly, from February 9), and Warsaw (six-times-weekly, from February 10); Nottingham East Midlands to Nice (thrice-weekly, from April 1), Gdansk (thrice-weekly, from February 9), and Warsaw (thrice-weekly, from February 10).
February 2008: Bmibaby (BMI) will launch service from Manchester to Madrid (four-times-weekly from June 16), Lisbon (twice-weekly from June 17) and Barcelona (four-times-weekly from September 8).
March 2008: bmibaby (BMI) will launch twice-weekly, Cardiff - Barcelona on May 24, becoming thrice-weekly on June 18.
April 2008: Bmibaby (BMI) named (IATA) (ITA) Head of Marketing & New Business Development, Julian Carr as its Commercial Director.
August 2008: 737-36Q (29141, G-TOYM), ex-JetLite (SAQ), ex-(VT-SJD) leased.
December 2008: Bmibaby (BMI) announced the following route suspensions: Service from Birmingham to Rome Fiumicino, Milan Orio al Serio, Lisbon, Madrid, and Birmingham from March 29 to October 24; Manchester - Madrid from March 29 to October 22; Nottingham East Midlands (EMA) - Prague from March 29 to October 23. The changes are "in response to a weakening of demand, which is being impacted upon by the current economic climate," it said. It will operate a new thrice-weekly, (EMA) - Menorca service May 22 - October 24.
March 2009: bmibaby (BMI) is gone from the Cork - Birmingham/East Midlands route.
Employees = 696.
May 2009: Bmibaby (BMI) will introduce service to Grenoble from Nottingham East Midlands, Birmingham, Cardiff (all twice-weekly) and Manchester (weekly) for its 2009 to 2010 winter schedule.
September 2009: Bmibaby (BMI) will operate twice-weekly, Manchester - Lourdes service April 30 - October 1, 2010.
(BMI) announced a "massive" expansion at Nottingham East Midlands (EMA) next year in the wake of easyJet (EZY)'s decision to withdraw from the airport. (BMI) will base three additional airplanes at (EMA) and launch new service to Alghero (weekly, May 29 to September 25, 2010), Barcelona (four-times-weekly, March 28 to October 30, 2010), Bastia (weekly, May 30 to September 26, 2010), Cork (four-times-weekly, December 18 to October 30, 2010), Dubrovnik (twice-weekly, May 30 to September 26, 2010), Malta (twice-weekly, May 29 to - October 30, 2010), Newquay (thrice-weekly, May 28 to September 12, 2010) and Venice (four-times-weekly, February 12 to October 30, 2010), as well as boosting frequencies on other routes. Palma will be added to its winter schedule and flights to Geneva and Prague will become year round. It will operate to 24 destinations from (EMA) and increase its capacity there by +40% next year.
October 2009: Bmibaby (BMI) and Germanwings (RFG) will link their websites and list certain flights of both carriers, sending customers to the corresponding booking page after they select a flight. (BMI) customers will have access to 37 (RFG) flights from Manchester, London Stansted and Edinburgh, while (RFG) customers will be able to book 33 (BMI) services from Cardiff, Nottingham East Midlands, Birmingham, and Manchester.
November 2009: Bmibaby (BMI) will reduce its 737 fleet by five airplanes to 12 next year as part of a restructuring plan "that will see it focus its activities and efforts on routes where there are clear indications and prospects for future growth and development."
As the low-fare arm of Lufthansa (DLH) subsidiary bmi (BMA), (BMI) said the move will create 10 pilot (FC) and 15 flight attendant (CA) positions at Nottingham East Midlands (EMA), while putting 54 pilots (FC) and 82 cabin staff (CA) at Birmingham, Manchester, and Cardiff "at risk of redundancy," along with 22 management and support positions. (BMI) said it has "commenced discussions with staff and union representatives with a view to minimizing job losses wherever possible."
(BMI) did not detail which routes it intends to shelve and said part of the freed-up capacity will be shifted to (EMA), from which it plans to launch service to Cork, Venice, Barcelona, Newquay, Malta, Alghero, Dubrovnik, and Bastia between mid-December and June.
"The aviation industry is facing its toughest time ever. It is experiencing record losses and remedial action has to be taken. (BMI) is no exception to this," Managing Director, Crawford Rix said.
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.
January 2010: bmibaby (BMI) has announced plans to cut its fleet from 17 to 12 737 airplanes as part of a restructuring plan put in place after the takeover of bmibaby (BMI) and its sister carriers by Lufthansa (DLH). 158 staff will be laid off as part of the plan. It has already cancelled its routes from Manchester to Alicante and Malaga as of November 15, 2009 and will give up its Birmingham - Glasgow route on January 28, and its Cardiff - Belfast route on March 25. In better news, bmibaby (BMI) will launch three times weekly 737-500 service from Bournemouth to Jersey on March 29. bmibaby (BMI) has again entered into a sales and marketing cooperation relationship with germanwings (RFG). The two carriers had already cooperated in a similar fashion before by promoting flights of both carriers.
March 2010: Tiger Airways (TGR) named bmibaby (BMI) Managing Director, Crawford Rix as Managing Director of Tiger Airways Australia (TAU).
November 2010: SEE ATTACHED "AIRLINER WORLD" ARTICLE - - "BMI-2010-11-A/B/C/D/E/F."
Destinations from Birmingham: Aberdeen; Alicante; Amsterdam; Belfast International; Faro; Geneva; Ireland West Knock; Malaga; Murcia; Nice; Palma; & Prague.
Destinations from Cardiff: Alicante; Belfast International; Edinburgh; Faro; Geneva; Jersey; Mahon; Malaga; Munich; Murcia; & Palma.
Destinations from East Midlands: Alghero; Alicante; Almeria; Amsterdam; Barcelona; Belfast International; Cologne/Bonn; Dubrovnik; Edinburgh; Faro; Geneva; Glasgow; Jersey; Mahon; Malaga; Malta; Munich; Newquay; Nice; Palma; Paris; Prague; & Venice.
Destinations from Manchester: Belfast International; Bordeaux; Geneva; Ireland West Knock; Jersey; Lisbon; Lourdes; Newquay; Palma; Perpignan; Prague; & Toulouse.
January 2011: bmibaby (BMI) parent, 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.
bmibaby (BMI) will start a new Manchester - Montpellier route this summer.
April 2011: Bmibaby (BMI) will cease operations at Manchester (MAN) and Cardiff airports at the end of the summer schedule but expand at Belfast City (BHD), East Midlands (EMA), and Birmingham airports (BHX). (BMI) will switch two airplanes to (BHD) and launch a six-times-weekly, year-round service to Amsterdam on October 31 and a twice-weekly seasonal winter service to Geneva on December 17. (BMI) will also launch five new routes for summer 2012 to Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Faro, and Ibiza, lifting its network from/to the airport to 12 destinations.
(BMI) will also base an additional 737 at both (EMA) and (BHX), and commence new routes to Toulouse and Chambery from (EMA) in winter 2011 to 2012. (BMI) said new routes for summer 2012 from both bases will be announced “soon.”
“In the current economic climate, it is essential for bmibaby (BMI) to focus on airports where the airline already has a strong market presence and where there are strong growth opportunities for the (BMI) business,” said Managing Director, Julian Carr.
(BMI) noted that other group carriers, namely British Midland International (BMA) and bmi regional, will keep a strong presence at (MAN). (BMA) recently announced a new service to Frankfurt, operated on behalf of Lufthansa (DHL), and a new flight to Basel.
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.
bmibaby (BMI) will operate weekly, East Midlands - Catania service May 27 - September 30, and 2X-weekly, Belfast City - Mahon, Menorca service on June 15 - September 24.
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.
Bmibaby (BMI) will operate weekly, East Midlands - Catania service May 27 - September 30, and 2X-weekly, Belfast - Mahon service June 15 - September 24.
January 2012: bmibaby (BMI) is only making minor network changes this winter and next summer:
Belfast City - Menorca: 2x weekly seasonal 737-300 service between June 15 and September 24;
Birmingham - Prague: 5x weekly 737-300 service has resumed on October 21;
East Midlands - Catania: weekly seasonal 737-300 service between May 27 and September 30.
April 2012: 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.
May 2012: BMIBaby (BMI) announced on their website that all flights are ceasing on a selection of different dates. (BMI) is planning to close down in September if no buyer can be found.
The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), concluded the purchase of the British Midland group of airlines last month, with the main attraction being mainline carrier bmi (BMA)’s valuable slots at capacity-constrained London Heathrow.
While (BAB) is integrating (BMA)’s services into its own mainline operation, it has no interest in the other two carriers in the group (bmi regional and bmibaby (BMI) and has been trying to find buyers for them.
(BMA) said that progress had been made with a potential buyer for bmi regional, but no likely purchaser had come forward for bmibaby (BMI) and that consultations had started with trade unions over “future options including a proposal to close in September this year.”
(BMA) interim Managing Director, Peter Simpson said: “Bmibaby (BMI) has delivered high levels of operational performance and customer service, but has continued to struggle financially, losing more than >-£100 million/-$161.8 million in the last four years. In the consultation process, we will need to be realistic about our options.”
Simpson added, “To help stem losses as quickly as possible and as a preliminary measure, we will be making reductions to bmibaby’s flying program from June.” These include stopping all bmibaby (BMI) flights to and from Belfast from June 11. (BMI) services from the UK’s East Midlands Airport to Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Nice, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newquay (and from Birmingham to Knock and Amsterdam) will cease the same date.
“It is proposed that all (BMI) flights departing from Monday, September 10, 2012 onwards will no longer operate.”
Later it was stated that bmibaby (BMI) will stop operations on September 20 after new parent, British Airways (BAB) has given up its pursuit of a potential buyer for the loss making low-cost carrier (LCC). Up to 500 (BMI) employees will be affected by the closure that will be executed in multiple phases. As of June 11, the Belfast George Best City airport (BHD) base will be closed, from where (BMI) has operated to Alicante (ALC), Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), Birmingham International (BHX), East Midlands (EMA), Faro (FAO), Ibiza (IBZ), London Stansted (STN), Malaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso (AGP), Menorca Mahón (MAH) and Palma de Mallorca Son Sant Joan (PMI) airports so far. At the same time, it will also give up its routes from Birmingham to Amsterdam and Knock Ireland West (NOC) as well as from East Midlands to Amsterdam, Edinburgh (EDI), Geneva Cointrin (GVA), Glasgow Abbotsinch International (GLA), Newquay Cornwall (NQY), Nice Côte d'Azur (NCE) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airports. All remaining routes from Birmingham International airport (BHX) and East Midlands airport (EMA) will then no longer be served after the summer season from September 20.
(BMI) currently operates 12 737-300s and 2 737-500s.
Later in the month, the (IAG) was successful in selling British Midland International (BMA)’s bmi regional to a group of Scottish investors for £8 million/$12.9 million. (IAG), which finalized the purchase of bmi regional's parent company bmi last month, had said the regional operator did not figure in its plans.
Bmi regional, which operates 14 Embraer ERJ-145s and four ERJ-135s, is based in the northeast Scottish city of Aberdeen and operates to destinations in the UK and northern Europe. A primary investor behind the purchase, Ian Woodley, set up a small carrier, Business Air, in the 1980s, which was eventually bought by bmi and became the core of bmi regional.
He has been joined by several other investors, including former Business Air executive Graham Ross and members of the Bond family that previously owned North Sea oil helicopter operator Bond Helicopters and are investors in Scottish regional carrier Loganair.
"In essence, [bmi regional] is the guts of the same company that Ian and Graham founded," a bmi regional spokesman said. The deal will preserve bmi regional's 330 jobs. The spokesman added that, following a period of consolidation, the company plans to develop its network both within the UK and in northern Europe.
It will keep its brand name and, for now, the existing color scheme: "There's obviously some value in the brand," the spokesman said.
September 2012: UK low-cost carrier (LCC) bmibaby (BMI) suspended operations on September 9th after the International Airlines Group (IAG) (BAB)/(IBE) failed to find a viable buyer for the company.
In May, (BMI) interim Managing Director, Peter Simpson warned (BMI)’s future was threatened and would close down if a suitable candidate did not emerge.
(BMI) operated a fleet of 737-300s and 737-500s to destinations in the UK and Europe, but over the last four years it lost more than >-£100 million/-$161.8 million. A (BMI) spokeswoman said approximately 450 people are facing redundancy as a result of the closure.
(BMI) launched operations in March 2002, becoming the low-cost carrier (LCC) arm of the bmi group, which also included bmi International (BMA) mainline and bmi Regional.
In April, the (IAG) acquired the three bmi carriers ((BMA), (BMI) and bmi Regional) from Lufthansa (DLH). The (IAG) is integrating (BMA) mainline’s services into its British Airways (BAB) subsidiary, but it had no plans to keep (BMI) nor bmi Regional. bmi Regional was sold to Sector Aviation Holdings in June and is now operating as an independent entity, although its branding remains unchanged.
December 2012: Defunct UK low-cost carrier (LCC) bmibaby (BMI), which ceased operations in September, decided to shut down instead of accepting takeover bids from financially insecure purchasers.
Speaking on airline consolidation at a conference on The Future of Air Transport in London, former bmibaby (BMI) Managing Director, Julian Carr said the decision was made to cease operations in a controlled manner, giving passengers confidence up to the closing date. “We had approaches from people who were not [strong and stable] and we ruled them out,” he said. He feared if (BMI) was sold to a buyer that was not “strong and stable,” travelers could have found themselves incurring out-of-pocket expenses or stranded if a new owner shuttered (BMI) unexpectedly.
(BMI) closed down in September after the International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), bought parent British Midland International (BMA) but said it had no interest in the bmibaby (BMI) operation.
Carr said bmibaby (BMI) management were "extremely close" to selling the airline but potential buyers eventually found the necessary investment just too high. He declined to identify suitors, or whether they were airlines or a financial organization.
The key to bmibaby (BMI)'s survival would have been replacement of its expensive, aging Boeing 737-300s, but the BMI (BMA) Group's former owner Lufthansa (DLH), "was never going to do that" given current economic conditions, he said.
Ironically, the 2012 summer season, after the September closure had been announced, was bmibaby (BMI)'s most profitable ever.
Click below for photos:
0 737-229 (351-20907, G-GPFI), (EUL) WET-LSD 2004-06. RTND.
2 737-3L9 (CFM56-3C1) (2688-27833, /95 G-OGBD "DERBY BABY PRIDE;" 2692-278834, /95 G-OGBE "BUMMIE BABY"), ORIX (OXA) LSD 2004-04. 148Y.
1 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2139-24962, /91 G-OBMP "PUDSEY BABY"), EX-(VAR)/(ANW), (GEF) 4 YR LSD 2000-01, 148Y.
1 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2193-24963, /92 G-OBMP "ROBIN HOOD BABY"), EX-(ILF), (TOM) LSD 2002-10. NAMED "BABY E.T." HAS PROMOTIONAL BANNER FOR E.T.-THE EXTRA-TERRESTIAL DVD & VIDEO" ON THE TAIL. 148Y.
0 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2635-26303, G-JKID NTU), (ILF) LSD. RTND. 148Y.
1 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2664-26307, /94 G-TOYD), (ILF) LSD 2005-06. 148Y.
3 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2680-26310, /95 G-BZZE; 2681-26311, /95 G-TOYB; 2693-26312, /95 G-BZZG), EX-(BZZ), (ILF) LSD 2004-12. 148Y.
1 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (28054, G-TOYI "GEORDIE BABY"), 148Y.
0 737-33A (CFM56-3C1) (2709-27455, /95 G-TOYE), EX-(EBA), (AWW) LSD 2005-05. RTND LST (JT2) 2009-06. 148Y.
1 737-33R (CFM56-3C1) (2899-28870, /97 G-TOYK "BEACH BABY"), MACQUARIE AIRCRAFT LSD 2007-05. 148Y.
1 ORDER 737-36E (CFM56-3) (2792-27626, /96 G-TOYL), (ILF) LSD 2008-06. 148Y.
1 737-36N (CFM56-3) 28054, G-TOYI "GEORGIE BABY"), 148Y.
1 737-36M (CFM56-3) (28332, G-TOYJ "PUDSEY BABY" 2007-04), 148Y.
1 737-36N (CFM56-3C1) (2835-28554, /96 G-ECAS; 2862-28557, /97 G-TOYF "RAINBOW BABY;" 2876-28558, /97 G-OJTW), (GEF) LSD. 28557 RTND 2002-03, LSD AGAIN 2005-11. 28554; 28558; RTND, LST (BEJ) 2005-04. 28557; TO (AZZ) 2013-12. 148Y.
3 737-36N (CFM56-3C1) (3010-28570, /98 G-TOYH "BABY OF THE NORTH" 2005-12; 3082-28872, /98 G-TOYG "BUTTERFLY BABY" 2006-01), (GEF) LSD. 28570 TO (AZZ) 2013-12. 148Y.
1 737-36Q (CFM56-3) (3035-29141, G-TOYM "GROOVY BABY" 2008-08), EX-(SAQ), LSD 2008-08. 148Y.
1 737-37Q (CFM56-3) (2904-28537, /97 G-ODSK "BABY DRAGONFLY"), LSD 2002-09, 148Y.
0 737-5Q8 (CFM56-3B1) (2114-25160, /91 G-BVZG; 2129-25166, /91 G-BVZH; 2173-25167, /91 G-BVZI), EX-(LNJ), (ILF) LSD. 25160; 25166; 25167. RTND. 131Y.
2 737-59D (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 "JELLY BABY;" 2279-26421, /92 G-BVKD "ICE ICE BABY;" 2412-26422, /93 G-BVZE "LITTLE COSTA BABY") (SAS) LSD). 25065 RTND (BBB), LST (LUX) 2001-04. 131Y.
Click below for photos:
PETER SIMPSON, INTERIM MANAGING DIRECTOR.
JULIAN CARR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, EX-(JT2)/(IAT) (2010-04).
DAVID BRYON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
ALEX GRANT, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO) (2004-11).
NICHOLA BELL, GENERAL MANAGER FINANCE.
CAPTAIN TIM BERRY, DIRECTOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS.
DAVID HODGE, DIRECTOR MARKETING.
JULIAN CARR, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, EX-(ITA) (2008-04).
SHEINA MCNOCHER, DIRECTOR GROUND SERVICES.