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Bmibaby to close
Friday 4th May 2012 at 08:50
Low fare carrier Bmibaby is set to close later this year threatening the loss of hundreds of jobs and ending its flights after ten years.
Bmibaby flies to over 40 airports throughout the UK and Europe from its three bases at Belfast, Birmingham and East Midlands Airports
The carrier transferred to International Airlines Group, the owners of British Airways, last month but consultations have now started with unions about its closure in September. The move by the owner of British Airways (BA), which bought BMI from Lufthansa last month, puts almost 500 jobs at risk.
Bmibaby is based at East Midlands Airport and operates with a fleet of 14 Boeing 737 aircraft. It is reported to be losing about £25m a year.
A statement by IAG said "Progress has been made with a potential buyer for bmi Regional but so far this has not been possible for bmibaby despite attempts over many months by both Lufthansa and IAG. bmibaby has therefore started consultation to look at future options including, subject to that consultation, a proposal to close the airline in September this year. IAG had already made it clear that BMI Baby and BMI Regional would not be part of its long-term plans. The Scottish consortium, Granite Aviation, is thought to be in advanced talks with IAG over the sale of bmi Regional for £20 million.
The changes mean that all bmibaby flights to and from Belfast will cease from 11th June.
Bmibaby services from East Midlands to Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Nice, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newquay, and from Birmingham to Knock and Amsterdam, will also end on the same date.
It is proposed that all remaining summer holiday bmibaby flights will after 10th September 2012 will no longer operate.
Monarch, Flybe and EasyJet step in to secure lost routes
EasyJet chose the day before the completion of the bmi sale to announce a new Birmingham to Belfast International service.
Monarch Airlines will expand operations across the Midlands with the launch of a new base at East Midlands Airport and the growth of services from Birmingham Airport.
The airline, already a leading leisure carrier at Birmingham Airport, will introduce a new base at East Midlands Airport
from late summer 2012 and launch new flights to key leisure destinations across the Mediterranean including Malaga, Alicante, Palma (Majorca) and Faro (Portugal)
In addition, Monarch will be expanding its operations from Birmingham Airport through the introduction of additional
frequencies on existing routes to Malaga, Alicante, Faro, Rome and Palma plus the addition of a new route to
Barcelona. A UK base for Monarch since 2005 the airline is already one of Birmingham's leading scheduled airlines
flying over 875,000 passengers to over twenty destinations across Europe every year.
Commenting on the launch of a new base at East Midlands Airport and the expansion of services from Birmingham Airport, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, Kevin George said "In light of recent industry changes, opportunities have opened up in the market. It has become clear that the Midlands will be underserved as a region in the future and that there is a lack of quality carriers to serve customers travelling from the area"
Flybe has confirmed a significant expansion of its services from East Midlands Airport with five brand new winter routes to Amsterdam, Paris CDG, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Jersey supported by a decision to base two aircraft at the airport for the first time.
Report by Derek Pedley