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AnonymousGuest18 Jun 2013
Interesting article about the challenges faced by the bmi regional team.18 Jun 2013
I was up in ABZ on Saturday and say a cute little BMI plane, and I must admit, it brought a fuzzy glow to me as this plucky little airline has been rescued by it’s previous management team and is now carving out niche markets for itself, as well as doing a lot of charter work.
I hope that profitability comes a little sooner than they planned and they keep up the charter work for football teams, car launches, politicians and even the odd Zelebrity and this brings them more publicity and more pax.19 Jun 2013
Really hope that they make it as well. I was passing through Bristol Airport recently and saw that they are flying to a few destinations. Problem is whether EasyJet start to compete on the same routes. Hope not.19 Jun 2013
It is lovely to see Bmi Regional still flying and the Bmi ‘brand’ still in place. The aircraft livery is smart, the uniforms smart and the airline has always had a good reputation for service and friendliness.
As mass air travel gets more and more stressful the niche market where you return to being a passenger and not just ‘self loading cargo’ to be relentlessly shoved on and dumped off, will continue to grow and prosper.19 Jun 2013
drflight – I hope that you are correct. I remember a great airline flying out of Edinburgh called Duo. Business class service with a low cost fast turnaround model. Some of the best service I ever had from a short haul airline, sadly not enough others agreed…19 Jun 2013
I do hope that BMI Regional succeeds with its flights from Bristol as I would welcome alternatives to Easyjet but I think history is against them. For myself, I think they need to do the following to be successful.
1. Rename the airline. For all the nostalgia about BMI, the name BMI Regional doesn’t trip off the tongue. Also I would suspect brand recognition is highest in London/SE & East Midlands and not in Bristol (where BMI have never operated) & Aberdeen where its main bases are now. Birmingham is an exception.
2. Buy bigger aircraft. The E145s are not economic with today’s fuel prices without sky high ticket prices. As Swindoneric notes, Easyjet will wipe them out if they choose to compete with BMI Regional.
3. Merge with Eastern Airlines. I am amazed that Aberdeen feels it can have two airlines based there. I suspect there is an informal relationship going on as the BRS-ABZ route used to be Eastern, then the new BMI Regional announced their own flights on this route, and within 6 months Eastern had dropped theirs. As a merged entity, I think they are capable of being a viable full service airline.19 Jun 2013
Yes, Duo was a great airline while it lasted. It was based in BHX and took over some of the short-haul routes which had been dropped by BA.
At one time, BA operated a Eurohub at BHX which sadly did not survive.
Niche carriers like Bmi Regional fill the gap between the big hub airlines and the LCCs. They offer convenience (for regional travellers) but this convenience comes at a price.19 Jun 2013
I fly ABZ/MAN a lot and use bmi Regional when I can – I personally hate Flybe and their unreliable, cold, shabby service.
Without fail the bmi flights have been on time and the crews very friendly. Fares usually compare ok with Flybe as well, so I really do hope they do well.
One of the directors is ex-Eastern so he probably took a lot of Eastern ways with him to bmi. It would make sense to merge the two, but I can’t see it in the near future – knowing a couple of the bmi directors, they will do their damnest to build their brand up and make a name for themselves – I really hope they succeed.19 Jun 2013
Alex, fully agree with you. I’m actually based in Edinburgh which was Duo’s other “hub”. The problem which BMI regional has is exemplified by their Edinburgh – Copenhagen route.
I’m a fairly regular visitor to the Nordic region and used to use BMI frequently. They are now competing with both EasyJet and Norwegian on the route – bigger planes, wifi in the case of Norwegian etc. While I see BMI Regional’s attractions, I would doubt that they can match the LCCs in terms of price, and certainly can’t better their convenience.19 Jun 2013
Strangely Swindoneric, I had the need of a EDI/CPH return a few weeks ago and bmi surprised me by being cheapest.
I almost didn’t check their fares either – glad I did.19 Jun 2013