bmi rebirth – Your opinions

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  ilivetofly 10 Feb 2014
at 19:57

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  • Anonymous


    bmi rebirth

    With talk of bmi regional rebranding to bmi, just wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on an eventual rebrand to British Midland.

    After all, before it got swallowed by BA, the airline had finally become British Midland International after years of bmi , where the “I” apparently meant nothing ( I always thought the mi was short for midland).

    I saw this video from British Midland International and it is clear how passionate the staff were about their “ Flying Diamond”.

    Admittedly, the Aberdeen and Bristol centric bmi regional is a far cry from the Heathrow based titan that was British Midland International flying all over the UK,Europe,Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

    Does anyone feel that bmi regional may eventually expand and upgrade to larger A319/320 aircrafts and recommence a more dense UK network and perhaps restart Amsterdam,Brussels,Glasgow,Edinburgh,Manchester to Heathrow ?

    Also,there is a big scope for the return of the Diamond Service as customer today do want frills and are prepared to pay for these. Although BD fares were always competitive anyway.

    I think with the British Midland brand being so strong and fondly remembered and so many staff who would be ready to serve the reborn British Midland, the airline has a strong chance of success.

    It is a shame that a certain ex employee who is so busy buying shares in every other airline these days, was so far removed from helping BD when it most needed help.

    Donington Hall and Frankfurt put the final nails in the coffin but does anyone believe in a rebirth of this once majestic airline ?


    Since Bristol is my main airport I am keen to see BMI regional succeed but they won’t in their current form in my opinion. I think two things that have to change are:

    1. Change their name and create a distinct identity.
    2. Replace their fleet of E145s with more economic aircraft.

    It sounds like both are on the agenda of the management so I will be interested to see what they decide.

    From my perspective, I am not convinced by the BMI name. It never had any presence in the South West and for an airline whose main bases look like they will be Bristol & Aberdeen, British Midland is a real misnomer (especially if the Scots vote yes to independence!). If their plan was to reacquire Heathrow slots then there could be value in using the name but the cost of acquiring those slots must surely be prohibitive and it doesn’t feel as though this is in their plans. Given they have also started services in Norway, it again doesn’t ring right.

    Another point they need to bear in mind is that with BA focused on Heathrow and no other London based domestic carrier (with the exception of Virgin), their competitors in the UK regions will be FlyBE for domestic traffic, Easyjet/Ryanair for EU point to point traffic, and the likes of KL/AF/LH/SN etc for interline traffic. Unless they intend to become a codeshare partner for a legacy airline, I feel their best bet is to position themselves as a value for money airline with a strong Business friendly identity that marks them out from the more Leisure oriented brands of Easyjet/Ryanair. Even then there is no guarantee that this will succeed.

    A final point, why on earth have they not bought or merged with Eastern Airways. The two airlines share a base and similar kinds of customers.

    I wish them all the best and I would love to have an alternative to Easyjet & Ryanair at Bristol but I am not optimistic.


    I would like to see nothing more than the true bmi brand flying again. I was a gold holder with bmi and used them when ever possible. My concern for bmi regional is they may try to overstretch themselves which could be fatal for the airline. I am sure there are many others out there that really miss bmi as a carrier.

    I like the comment about “frills”. I would be more than prepared to pay a little extra for the creature comforts that I came to expect.


    Bath_VIP ) I really liked your comment about merging with Eastern Airways however I wouldn’t imagine A319/A320 aircraft would be on the cards. Indeed joining hands with a legacy carrier as a feeder airline may reap dividends. British Midland did and still stands for high quality and quality care….I am sure the Scots wouldn’t mind too much to see British Midland contributing to the Scottish skies once again !

    JefferyDavison ) It is heartening to hear that there are still travellers who believe in quality ; as mentioned BD offered luxury with value fares before they became bmi.

    Exciting to hear there are “Diamonds” out there who want to see a sparkle in the sky once more ! If TSB can make a comeback, surely BM can too ?!

    I wonder if a rich tycoon may see sense and swing some cash towards BM and make BM shine ” Bright Like A Diamond”….Rihanna can even provide the soundtrack for this momentous event in aviation.. !

    Look forward to more thoughts on the return of British Midland.


    I have read elsewhere but also on BT that bmi are to stop offering a differentiated business class product in favour of an enhanced all economy service:

    Now I wonder, will the new product be named to differentiate it from the competition?

    Perhaps it could be called something like Diamond Service?

    Not everyone wants the cheapest and nastiest alternative as carriers in some places are beginning to realise. It’s a shame the European legacy carriers are continuing their race to the bottom.


    A small comment on the name. I thought, at the time, that the name “BM” was altered when bmi started flying to the USA. A “BM” in the USA has meaning that it does not have in the UK …


    I know I’ll sound cynical, but rebranding will not I think make an iota of difference. An airline will succeed or fail depending on its routes and fares, and possibly the aircraft it flies.

    While many of us on the forum are willing to pay a bit extra for some frills, the majority of the travelling population do not, hence the success of the LCC’s, FR chief amongst them. Research has shown many travellers would rather have a cramped seat and spend less on the fare than the other way.

    So yes, a nice nostalgic idea, but I don’t think it will be a particular success!


    I think quite a few people would pay a little extra for an enhanced service.

    It makes better business sense to attract (and maintain) a small but loyal customer base than to compete only on the basis of low fares.

    The type of enhanced service I would pay for would include:

    assigned seating
    quality catering
    comfortable seating
    meaningful loyalty programme
    decent baggage allowance

    I agree with LP to a point regarding routes & fares, but if there is a choice over basic and enhanced services on the same route, I believe that sufficient customers would be tempted to try BMI. It would then be up to the airline to demonstrate that their enhanced service merited repeat bookings.

    Only time will tell whether the new BMI is a success, I certainly hope so.


    to PatJordan – 09/02/2014 21:14 GMT

    Please explain the difference between

    “assigned seating” and
    “allocated seating”.


    The one thing that BMI regional has done is to make Aberdeen and Bristol their two main bases. Aberdeen has its oil traffic and Bristol is the second richest city in Britain (or England) after London. In theory therefore, they are based in two area which should be willing to pay for extras provided those extras offer value for money. For me, it will be seat pitch versus Easyjet. If they don’t offer more comfort then I can’t see myself being loyal to them.


    Years ago, I was told that any airline including the word “British” gets confused with BA in most foreign markets. Apparently, market research showed that most Americans who had seen advertising for British Caledonian thought they had seen ads for BA. The switch from “British Midland’ to “BMI” came about the time of their big US and India expansion. I wonder if this was why?

    In any case, without a legacy tie-in, BMI Regional will have a tough fight on their hands at Bristol: Easy jet is very well established and the service has become really excellent. I think the Easyjet A319s have an edge for comfort and cabin bag space too


    I don’t think bmi regional will expand beyond a niche player; it’s already recognised that in the current environment, offering a premium service is not what passengers are demanding on these niche regional services. Frequency and cost-effective pricing is paramount (though they’ve chosen their routes carefully, so the prices won’t be low).



    I agree that they’ve chosen their routes carefully to avoid direct competition with Easyjet/Ryanair at Bristol and Eastern Airways at Aberdeen. As far as I can see they are only in direct competition with Eastern on the Norwich route and FlyBE on the Manchester route.

    But avoiding competition is not a recipe for growth or innovation. Eastern Airways are a good example of this. Their network used to be larger but as soon as a competitor appeared on any of their routes (usually FlyBE) they tended to withdraw. This can be a successful strategy for yields but they make themselves vulnerable to a big boy deciding to muscle in on their act.


    Just heard from a few of the guys from our Norwich office that a private consortium plans to take up the old AirUK name and brand…I pray it’s true and this will really excite the UK aviation scene if UK comesback !

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