The new owner of Bmi Regional has secured the exclusive rights to the Bmi brand, and admits that it is considering dropping the Regional suffix in the future.
Bmi Regional has been busy establishing itself as an independent airline since the sale of Bmi to International Airlines Group (IAG) last year, establishing new European routes, including the recent Bristol to Frankfurt (see online news April 2), securing full GDS participation and setting up a new corporate headquarters at East Midlands airport.
Bmi Regional secured full ownership of the Bmi brand, including various web domains, earlier this month. Speaking to the press this week new chief executive Cathal O’Connell said, “It’s something we’re assessing, the option is available to us. If we wish to drop Regional and rebrand as Bmi we can do that.”
O’Connell also said that Bmi Regional has no intention to fly from London at this time. A statement from the airline reads: “Working with smaller regional airports offers huge benefits to our customers including easier parking, speedier check-in and departures, less crowded airports and a choice of departure points that are within easy reach of many of the UK’s secondary cities.”
Bmi Regional does not have the rights to the Diamond Club frequent flyer brand after it ceased to exist in October last year (see online news September 28). However, O’Connell said that the airline is looking to make a fresh start when it comes to loyalty, saying: “We’re evaluating a new frequent flyer programme [...] we’re looking at the reward aspects and the recognition aspects of what we do.”
Bmi Regional will maintain a full service business model on its all-Embraer jet fleet, offering both business and economy fares. O’Connell says that the airline is looking at the onboard product though, as it “hasn’t changed since reformation.”
Bmi Regional is also launching new branding and marketing campaigns as the airline looks to adapt from its old model of feeding traffic for Bmi to filling the plane as an independent airline. This means a greater focus on leisure traffic with affordable European fares from an airline with a traditionally business travel focus.
The carrier appointed iconic advertising firm M&C Saatchi to lead its first marketing push back in September last year (see online news September 12, 2012).
For more information visit bmiregional.com.
Report by Scott Carey