If British Midland were to return

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  • justloveflying

    With my previous topic about breaking BA’s monopoly on UK domestic travel, I wonder what a brand new British Midland would look like ?

    I think their initial focus would be LHR to GLA/EDI/ABZ/MAN/BFS flying A320/21 neo Aircrafts.

    I wonder why, when the then BD was going through issues in 2011/12, Qatar Airways did not snap up this fine airline. QR would have got a stronghold into the UK regions.

    Genuinely hoping we see BD back one say (none of that bmi nonsense please – Body Mass Index Airways sounds weird for an airline !).

    BD would return with luxury lounges, gournet onboard cuisine and a new livery/uniforms and branding.

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    Indeed. Although British Eagle broke BEA’s domestic monopoly at LHR (there was also BUA in the late 1960s but it operated ex-LGW) it was really BD with Diamond Service which really made our nationalised airline take notice.

    Personally I am not sure QR would want to involve itself in loss-making UK domestic operations even if the regulators were to give the green light.

    Yes QR would gain travellers based near BFS/ABZ/GLA would benefit but, on the other hand, the former could travel to a QR hub not too far away.

    I mean, ABZ and BFS excepted, it’s not as though GLA and MAN lack service with a Gulf airline.

    (As an aside I really did want to sample British Eagle when it was operating but the flight I booked, GLA-LHR on a Sunday evening in winter, was cancelled and I was transferred to BUA who operated into LGW)


    Alex, The above is interesting thank you. I have some recall of an airline named Cunard Eagle which presumably was related ?

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    I think slots at LHR are just too valuable to dedicate to domestic services without feed from the airlines own long haul flights.

    British Midland/BMI was a member of Star Alliance and so had a lot of feed from long haul star alliance members but the way the $$££ is distributed between the carriers it just didn’t stack up for BMI. The reason BMI was so valuable was purely down to the number of slots it had at LHR which were second only to BA and in excess of VS. I can remember them for a period flying a prop aircraft on LHR-EMA purely to keep their slots active!

    I just do not think there is room for a short haul airline that offers luxury cuisine and all the bells and whistles to be able to charge the hefty surcharge that it would need to to cover its costs. You always see in surveys/research that the top three priorities for passengers on short haul flights are 1) punctuality, 2) frequency 2) fare charged.


    #BringBackBritishMidland – Exclusive Skies at a reasonable price ! At least BD offered great prices – BA seems to offer less for more which is totally the wrong way around.


    I hear what you say Rferguson2.

    Just wanted to mention that BD did not join Star Alliance until year 2000 after Lufthansa bought a 20 per cent stake in BD in 1999.

    Lufthansa is a founding member of Star hence it would sponsor BD’s membership.

    Diamond Service goes back to 1982. BA/BEA launched Shuttle in 1975 and, because of BD’s Diamond Service, it upgraded Shuttle to Super Shuttle in 1983.

    Back then BA would splash the cash when it came to promoting a new service.

    To mark the launch of Super Shuttle on August 30 1983 BA deployed *three* Concordes on its London-Glasgow Super Shuttle in August 1983.

    This grainy photo from Paisley.org.uk shows the three Concordes at Glasgow.

    3 Concordes in Paisley

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    Well Alex, as I have reported on this forum before, I was a passenger on the first Concorde to leave Glasgow that day. We got to meet Lord Marshall who was also on the flight and promoting the new SuperShuttle service. Yes, the hot English/Scottish breakfast was delicious! We flew the usual shuttle route so never got anywhere near Mach 2 but the experience was nevertheless memorable on so many levels. The service was a massive upgrade from what the crew used to do – effectively ‘plane’ conductors, collecting fares on board. I always thank BMI for making BA respond.

    In addition to a menu, each passenger was presented with a branded leather luggage tag. A few menu photos attached.

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