Europe

flybmi Ceases Operations and Files for Administration

bmi regional

British Midland Regional Limited, the East Midlands-based airline which operates as flybmi, has today announced that it has ceased operations and is filing for administration. 

Flybmi operates 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities.

All flights have been cancelled with effect from today. 

A spokesperson for flybmi said:

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today. The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme. These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit. Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe. Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.

“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40m in the last six years. We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable. 

“Our employees have worked extremely hard over the last few years and we would like to thank them for their dedication to the company, as well as all our loyal customers who have flown with us over the last 6 years.”

Bmi Regional employed a total of 376 employees based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

flybmi, previously known as bmi Regional, was a former subsidiary of British Midland International, which was purchased from Lufthansa by International Airlines Group (IAG) on 20 April 2012. Regional was sold to Sector Aviation Holdings in May 2012 and operated as an independent airline from October 2012. In August 2015, the airline became part of a new regional airline group, Airline Investments Limited, along with Loganair.

Loganair, the sister airline of flybmi in the Airline Investments Ltd group, has confirmed that its operation remains unaffected.

The two airlines are separate businesses, operating separate aircraft fleets on their own distinct route networks.  As such, the closure of flybmi, which flew Embraer Regional Jet aircraft on routes throughout 12 European countries, has no impact on Loganair’s continued operation, which predominantly uses turboprop aircraft on routes within the UK and in particular to, from and within the Scottish Highlands & Islands.

“The same challenges that have led to flybmi ceasing operations, including uncertainty around intra-European traffic rights post-Brexit, do not impact Loganair’s business,” Loganair said in a statement.

Loganair expects to return to profit in the current financial year, is carrying record passenger numbers on many of its routes and is in a strong financial position,” said Managing Director Jonathan Hinkles.

“We are actively working on options to offer employment to a number of flybmi staff members whilst at the same time monitoring developments elsewhere in the UK regional airline sector which could present opportunities for Loganair.”


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