Who knows what this means for the future of the airlines many divisions
My concern is now the company will be lead by Finance and Legal - neither known to understand what the customer wants.
"Britain's second largest full-service airline, BMI, will today announce the abrupt departure of its chief executive, Austin Reid, in a boardroom reshuffle at the privately owned company. "
"Insiders suggested that the change was a sign that BMI's founder and chairman, Sir Michael Bishop, was reasserting control over the airline. Sir Michael owns 50.1% of the shares, with the rest held by Lufthansa and SAS. "
"BMI lost £9.8m last year, after falling £19.6m into the red the year before. The airline has struggled to cope with competition from low-cost carriers and from the fallout of September 11. "
"BMI's legal director, Tim Bye, was yesterday appointed deputy chief executive and Alex Grant was appointed chief operations officer. "
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2445 times:
WW can hardly be called a roaring success - it is coming nowhere in competition with U2 and FR - just look at the wildly successful hub at LGW.
It could be that Mr Reid was pushing the merger with VS - it would be interesting to know what the views are of LH and SK (BD's big shareholders) on the idea of a merger with VS.
I'd agree with the comment about the airline being run by the CFO. Accountants are all very well in their place ( ) but you need people with a bit of marketing and operational know-how to run an airline (look at Bob Ayling, the ultimate Accountant Airline CEO - didn't he do well !)
It's a shame BD is a bit directionless at the moment, they are a very good airline, part of the top global alliance, with a solid presence at the most sought-after airport in Europe. They should be doing much better than they are.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2422 times:
Something is up at BMI, and its not very good......I am surprised that LH and SAS have not gotten more involved over at BMI to try to come up with some type of cohesive strategy for the airline. I have always wondered why BMI has not developed Manchester into some type of hub that could serve as a gateway to Europe - with lots of service out of MAN to German and Scandic cities that do not have nonstop service to the US or Canada - it all could be done on a code share basis with UA, SAS and LH, all of which just happen to be in the STAR alliance. MAN could be a good alternative to LHR.....its not as if anyone really likes connecting at Heathrow - its a pain. BMI has lost focus ever since it could not get the Heathrow-US routes that it wanted so badly (due to the lack or progress on B-2 and open skies).....its really time for BMI to "get over it" and come up with a new strategy for its mainline operations. Its a shame, BMI is a good airline, they can do so much better.
As for BMI baby, I think that the resources could be used better elsewhere.
Col From Malaysia, joined Nov 2003, 2083 posts, RR: 22 Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2322 times:
Agree Dutchjet. They should have a focus on MAN, I am sick of hubbing in LHR when I am forced to, when MAN is much easier and friendly. But it needs the involvement of all Star members including SQ, UA, US and the Europeans.
STARCREW From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 88 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2050 times:
It was shock in work today Austin is kinda like part of the furniture... not happy about an accountant and a lawyer running the airline, certainly wouldn't want to be stuck in a lift with those 2 !
Alex grant is chief ops director, hes an airline guy and used to run regional so I guess thats good..
I agree with comments that bmi has lost direction are we a business airline or a leisure airline? The trouble is there was no other stratergy except LHR - US expansion. That looks to be changing finally. So much time and money has been spent on setting up baby that bmi mainline has suffered, cost cutting has been the only focus in mainline. Now we have a very cheap business shorthaul product and a basic ecy product. We need a complete overhaul of shorthaul. Longhaul is a good product but don't know how successfull it will be out of LHR because we are up against VS and BA with lie flat beds abd we only have 160 degree seats...but we do have onboard chefs who do a mean scrambled eggs with real eggs!!!!
Finally I know everyone thinks bmi is in trouble but if you worked for them and knew how tight the purse strings are held you wouldn't be worried...its financially well run......it just needs to decide what animal it is.
AeroFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1515 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2039 times:
I disagree wholehaeartedly- Any one running a company, airline or no - should have a strong finance base. Someone from marketing discipline would only dream up silly schemes while displaying a lack of common sense
Whitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1873 times:
Austin Reid was already working out his notice.
So it isn't a shock. He was planning to leave next year, he has just brought that forward. I wouldn't be surprised if this is because he has been head-hunted by someone else or even a non-aviation concern.
As for the regular chorus of BMI-is-doomed merchants, a couple of relatively tiny losses against the value of the operation is hardly the same as a US major type of Chapter 11 debacle. BMI is worth a lot of money, has good revenues and holds a chunk of valuable LHR real estate and landing slots.
STARCREW From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 88 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1786 times:
The chefs are fully trained proper chefs, they cook meals to order for business passengers. They have a kinda real kitchen on board with griddles, hot pans we've even got a toaster! imagine fresh toast on an airline for breakfast.
and they do a fab bacon butty at 5am... freshly grilled bacon!
Beaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25 Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1746 times:
BMI did never have a strong media or marketing presence outside the UK. Most potential passengers in Germany,France ,Scandinavia or Italy never thought of BMI as an aggressive airline. They never had an immage here in France .I agree with Dutchjet that the parent-companies LH and SAS did a lousy job in integrating BMI in a helpful way into the Star-conglomerate.But I even think that LH are a little bit to descret about their presence currently and will face stormy days ahead with the "Vereinigung Cockpit" ( the pilot's union ).As the chairman of KLM said yesterday, even LH will become obliged to enter the race for mergers in the airline-world.Bare marketing-alliances as STAR are practicing might be an outdated model in the race for more cost-control and efficiency.But BMI should have been fully intergrated in LH and become an integral part of the system.Merge BMI,Germanwings,Spanair and Air-One in Italy into one operating unit executing LH feeders into STAR hubs in Europe ,use MAN as gateway to the US beeing fed by Germanwings,Air One,Spanair and BMI .
Skymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1721 times:
The early departure of Austin Reid is indeed an interesting development. Slightly contrary to what has been said above, I wonder whether this is prelude to the merger going ahead - whilst Austin joined BMI from outside of the airline industry, Nigel Turner and Alex Grant are pretty hard-nosed guys and I do wonder whether the reshuffle is designed to bring more pragmatic and commercially minded people to the fore to close the merger deal on terms that are the best for SMDB.
PS: If you're that interested in the food on board, you can always read my trip report...
Star_member From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 185 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1618 times:
a merger with VS would make complete sense. hope it goes ahead. VS in star would be great especially now it is flying to sydney. we have lacked a non stop star alliance airline option to hong kong for too long.
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1412 times:
I doubt there would be much of an antitrust issue, since their business overlap is virtually nil. Even their combined slot total at LHR won't make a dent in BA's for instance. Anti-trust issues only arise if competition is threatened entirely, and there is plenty of competition for a combined BD/VS business.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1405 times:
Also remember that a BMI/Virgin merger would result in an airline with LH, SK and SQ all sitting around the table as major shareholders.....I am not sure that any of these airlines would be interested in that.
Skymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 1263 times:
Directors have come and gone at BMI with monotonous regularity over the years - it just depends on how long the face continues to fit. However, I must admit that Austin's premature departure is a surprise as I thought he was regarded as one of the time-serving stalwarts. Nigel has certainly had a meteoric rise, and its interesting to see that Alex F***ing Grant is coming back from exhile (or was it toughening school) at Regional!