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Bmi On Verge Of BIG U-Turn...?  
User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3041 posts, RR: 23
Posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7228 times:

Well, things never cease to amaze me these days at good old bmi.

Three quite surprising rumours on the grapevine:

1. 2 x A340 being considered again to supplement the LHR longhaul efforts and release an A330 back up north to MAN.

2. To appease the very strong opposition to the abolishment of short haul biz. class, a feasibility study into the introduction of Economy + on the 319/320 fleet.

3. A rationalisation of the three groups (mainline, regional, baby) into just two, namely mainline and baby. Looks like baby would take over all "regional's" services BUT Heathrow will remain all mainline and some Manchester regional routes will be passed to mainline, whilst other "regional" routes in the regions would either go to "baby," code-share with another carrier (Eastern perhaps?) or simply be dropped.
This will leave the group with a consolidated short haul fleet of just A319,320,B733 and 735.

Perhaps someone in bmi has banged their head and finally seen a little sense.  banghead 

Regards

Shamu

[Edited 2005-07-21 17:35:10]


So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3759 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7193 times:

The biq question is "Why are we at Heathrow, how do we maximise our business by being there?"

User currently offlineEurohub From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7173 times:

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Thread starter):
Perhaps someone in bmi has banged their head and finally seen a little sense

It sounds more like the bmi management haven't got a clue and keep changing their minds every time the wind changes direction.

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Thread starter):
This will leave the group with a consolidated short haul fleet of just A319,320,B733 and 735

I doubt that those routes that bmi regional currently operates with ER4's would survive too long if capacity had to be uprated with A319 / B73x!



Forget A vs B - Give me E or BAe any day of the week!
User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3041 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7115 times:

Quoting Eurohub (Reply 2):
I doubt that those routes that bmi regional currently operates with ER4's would survive too long if capacity had to be uprated with A319 / B73x!

As I said, only some Regional ops would go back to mainline. All the others they keep would go to Baby.

My understanding from what I heard (not being an accountant) is that the Baby operating costs with a 735 haven't been too far removed from Regional's attempts at operating the ER4s.

Therefore, I can see the attraction of completely removing a whole part of the group and its fleet.

Without figures though, I can only speculate.

Regards

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2601 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7079 times:
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Interesting,
I'd have said that now bmi mainline is going to be operating as a quasi-LCC with no business class service on most route and pay-as-you-go service that bmibaby would have been the one for the axe.

Then the bmibaby name can be retained as an online entity/fare class only and the 737 fleet can be re-integrated back into the mainline operation - giving back some consistency to the bmi brand.

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It's a shame really - if bmi had got their act sorted out an gone down the LCC route sooner they could probably have built a fairly strong European network acting as a hub for the USA/Caribbean services in Manchester before Jet2, Air Berlin etc started up.

Bit late now... and one thing is certain, the opportunities for significant growth at Heathrow have always been very limited, but with recent LCC growth at Gatwick and Manchester there don't seem to be a lot of growth options for bmi.

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineCol From Malaysia, joined Nov 2003, 2129 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7028 times:

Shamu,

Well I hope this is true. The IAD fiasco with the 757 needed sorting. They have gone from June 2004 loadings MAN-IAD from 10,076 (79%LF) on the 332 to 7294 (75%LF) on their leased 757, way to go BMI!. For the whole of 2004 their LF was approx 73% on the 332, so the 757 seems to be doing great for them - NOT!. Plus the seat growth at MAN to USA has been quite small, so they should have been picking up more traffic, including myself (CO in August - 767 of course). Throw in the Freight loss, and I guess the management had to get their heads out of their ass's!

Just my 2 cents.

Col


User currently offlineRichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3759 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6976 times:

Would they make money if they offered holidays to their long haul destinations, or does bmi holidays already exist?

User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3041 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6971 times:

Quoting Col (Reply 5):
I guess the management had to get their heads out of their ass's!

To do that at bmi, they would have to appoint a strategic manager, a facilitator, a navigator and an escape committee....... and they'd still get stuck somewhere along the line  Wink

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

I think converting many BMI regional services over to Bmibaby would be disastrous. BMIbaby product would not be received favourably by regional's, predominantly, business customers.

The regional routes out of LBA, for example, to EDI, LHR, GLA etc are very much high end business customer routes and C class is often fully booked on these schedules. Also these profitable but thin markets would not support a 735 aircraft on the same frequency. They are routes ideally suited to the capacity of the ERJ 145.


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3041 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6957 times:

Quoting Richardw (Reply 6):
Would they make money if they offered holidays to their long haul destinations

bmi holidays doesn't exist per se, but most of the major long haul operators in the UK feature their caribbean and Vegas services.

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineGofly From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 1727 posts, RR: 38
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6944 times:
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Quoting Orion737 (Reply 8):
Also these profitable but thin markets would not support a 735 aircraft on the same frequency. They are routes ideally suited to the capacity of the ERJ 145.



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 3):
My understanding from what I heard (not being an accountant) is that the Baby operating costs with a 735 haven't been too far removed from Regional's attempts at operating the ER4s



Living the high life on my ex-Airliners.net Moderator pension...
User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6920 times:

Yes but many of BMI regionals customers would not be happy at having a 2 class, high frequency service repaced with a no-frills, one class, 'we dont care for business travellers' airline.

The routes out of LBA to GLA and EDI, particularly are high yielding routes which have a loyal customer base. Why ailienate them?


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3041 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6873 times:

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 11):
The routes out of LBA to GLA and EDI, particularly are high yielding routes which have a loyal customer base.

But show me one other 2nd tier regional airport which hasn't gone down the lo-co route for services to EDI and GLA. I can't think of any, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 11):
Why ailienate them?

You could equally ask why keep a sub-fleet for just 2 routes from a regional airport when the economics of the whole picture favour Baby ?

If the economics favour lo-co, then lo-co they will go I'm afraid.

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6851 times:

It isnt just the two routes from LBA- GLA and EDI.

LBA - BRU, CDG, JER are all BMIRegional routes and all suited to the capacty of the ERJ145. Also all routes are full of business travellers prepared to pay the high fares BMI charge on these routes.

BMI Regionals flights from LBA are some of the highest priced flights in its whole network.


User currently offlineCapital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 43
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 6711 times:

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 13):
It isnt just the two routes from LBA- GLA and EDI.

LBA - BRU, CDG, JER are all BMIRegional routes and all suited to the capacty of the ERJ145. Also all routes are full of business travellers prepared to pay the high fares BMI charge on these routes.

BMI Regionals flights from LBA are some of the highest priced flights in its whole network.

I agree with what you are saying here. BRU and CDG from EMA have both seen Baby removed back in favour of Regional for exactly these reasons. GLA, EDI and JER from LBA are currently priced at levels which prohibit most leisure travellors so may be viable for Baby, but could still upset the business community.

As was mentioned at the beginning of the thread, a viable option for Regional routes not suited to Baby's product could be a codeshare/transfer to Eastern Airways.



Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 6637 times:

First, let me state that for years I really liked BMI (I should say British Midland) and was very impressed with the airline. They seemed to be a well run airline and were on the way to becoming a serious competitor to BA at LHR. Their European and UK domestic network was impressive, they were innovative as far as fares (interesting business class fare structure), and offered a very good product. British Midland was a becoming a serious choice for London based travellers and those travelling within the UK and Ireland - with the SAS and LH connections and STAR membership, it seemed that they would become a serious force in the market - an airline that BA would actually have to worry about.

And then, everything seemed to go wrong. They purchased A32X airliners that were too big for their needs, A330s were ordered with no specific routes in mind (forget LHR, they should have known that Bermuda 2 was not going away), their obsession with flying between LHR and the US which was not to be sent them to MAN, and instead of seriously looking at the possiblities at MAN they instead went with a half-hearted attempt simply flying to UA hubs while still focused on London, and then came Baby, and Regional, and a cutback of routes at LHR, and longhaul at LHR including flights for which they did not have the proper authorities, and the controversial 757 on MAN-IAD, and the credit card charges, and the service cutbacks, and the product realignment, it does not end.

I am not being mean spirited or cruel, but at times I wonder if anyone at BMI has any idea what they are doing. It seems as if decisions are made on a moments notice, without proper research and without imput from marketing people, and it seems that their pax are not even a consideration. To say that BMI has managed to confuse the travelling public is an understatement, even BMI's most loyal customers and a.net members (who find issues like this interesting) do not have a clue as to what is going on.

I really do hope that BMI can get back on track and once again be considered a well managed airline that can seriously compete with other UK carriers.


User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 6614 times:

BMI should have stuck to their bread and butter market, the business traveller and high end leisure traveller. They should have concentrated on high quality, high frequency services.

BMIbaby has actually diluted the demand for BMI mainline. Baby together with the development of long haul routes have meant BD have 'taken their eye off the ball' and forgotten what they were good at.


User currently offlineMainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2107 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6449 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 15):
First, let me state that for years I really liked BMI

I'm still hanging in there. I often use bmi above BA for the simple reason that they always seemed slightly more innovative. Especially from my neck of the woods.....

They started LHR-MAN because the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in the North West told them that Britain's dreadful ground transportation problems were hurting the economic performance of this part of the UK, its second biggest economic region. I can't qualify this, it's just what I remember.

The intention to operate from MAN to the US was announced at the same time as their hope to change Bermuda II and operate from LHR. They never said that it was a 2nd choice, even though the risks were greater admittedly.

but then.....

The LHR long haul thing turned into a mad obsession. I can understand them jumping onto the BOM bandwagon, but Riyadh??

Why didn't they realise the potential of MAN and BHX-DEL/BOM before AI got there? Or BHX-ORD before AA invariably will again? Or BHX-ORL, demand for which surely exists?


User currently offlineNeder99 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2000, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6264 times:

A Regional / baby merger could turn out to be disastrous, as apparently, bmi Regional is the only part of the whole bmi group that's profitable, hence the service on Regional not changing on Aug 1st in line with the mainline LHR changes.

User currently offlineBMED From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 860 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5713 times:

I really hope that they don't get rid of bmi Regional. If anything they should expand it and introduce more services to give bmi mainline a true feeder service into LHR and MAN. They have the potential to have a great regional service.
As far as I can see bmi has all the right products but they don;t know what to do with them.



Living the jetset life! No better way to be
User currently offlineNoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5645 times:

I think BMI should follow Air Canada's example.

Keep the same brand on all the routes (no bmibaby/bmi/bmi regional etc), but introduce a tiered scheme across all flights with one brand. bmibaby fares for low cost with no frills, bmi standard fares for your meals etc, and then upper class fares for ultimate flexibility and service. This would then cater for all customers and remove some of the confusion people have about BMI's services.

This is part of the strategy that has turned AC into the "best airline in North America", from being in the crap a few years ago.

I know AC still have regional routes under the Jazz name but in essence you get the same service throughout for what you pay.

Cheers,
Noel.


User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5395 times:

Quoting Noelg (Reply 20):
I think BMI should follow Air Canada's example.

Keep the same brand on all the routes (no bmibaby/bmi/bmi regional etc), but introduce a tiered scheme across all flights with one brand. bmibaby fares for low cost with no frills, bmi standard fares for your meals etc, and then upper class fares for ultimate flexibility and service. This would then cater for all customers and remove some of the confusion people have about BMI's services.

AC also had a confusing number of brands - Tango, Zip, etc. Once they had managed to do a hefty amount of cost cutting there was no longer any need for the Tango operation and as such it is now merely a fare type on their flights I believe - same should happen with Baby IMO.

Quoting Noelg (Reply 20):
This is part of the strategy that has turned AC into the "best airline in North America",

Yeah - but then again look what it is up against  Wink

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 15):

Completely agree with you Dutchjet - couldn't have summerised it better myself.

Quoting Orion737 (Reply 16):
BMIbaby has actually diluted the demand for BMI mainline.

Yes but thing is that if they had done it properly it shouldn't have. You have what should have been business routes (such as EMA-BRU and cDG) that were turned over to LCC routes, yet you have sunshine destinations out of LHR such as PMI, ALC etc which should in theory (except admittedly for the problem of LHR costs) be the type of routes that should indeed go LCC.

They could have used Baby to grow new markets out of airports where they didn't have a big mainline operation. Cardiff could have been ideal with no competition, but it seems to have stagnated there - are they operating any new routes out of there? LGW they tried but ran away from.

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Thread starter):
This will leave the group with a consolidated short haul fleet of just A319,320,B733 and 735.

Certainly they need to cut down on the number of aircraft types they operate for such a small airline.

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 3):
My understanding from what I heard (not being an accountant) is that the Baby operating costs with a 735 haven't been too far removed from Regional's attempts at operating the ER4s.

That doesn't surprise me at all.

Quoting MainMAN (Reply 17):
The intention to operate from MAN to the US was announced at the same time as their hope to change Bermuda II and operate from LHR. They never said that it was a 2nd choice,

It always was very much second choice. BMI are far too small an airline to build up a decent long haul network from two different airports relatively simultaneously. They don't have the means to take on a large number of planes, and other operational issues besides. It would have taken them some years to build up a good long haul network out of LHR, and in doing that, MAN simply wouldn't have happened until they could grow out of LHR no more.

Quoting MainMAN (Reply 17):
Why didn't they realise the potential of MAN and BHX-DEL/BOM before AI got there? Or BHX-ORD before AA invariably will again?

Because BMI don't innovate any more. The people running the place seem to be marketing people rather than true analysts. They look at what everybody else is doing and jump on an idea thinking why don't we try that, without seemingly realising that either it won't work for bmi or they decide to do it half heartedly with no real idea how other carriers made the strategy work.

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Thread starter):
Perhaps someone in bmi has banged their head and finally seen a little sense.

Well he won't last long there then  Wink He'll be fired and the replacement will go for yet another hair-brained plan.....



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1943 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4928 times:

I really like BMI especially its business class service from the US to MAN, and I still rate BMI J class to be the best out there, but for the past year, BMI management seems to be living in a "cave".

The latest blow is the discontinuation of interline bag check-in service... if you hold two separate tickets (for example, one ticket on BD from MAN to LHR, and then another ticket from LHR to SFO on UA), BD will no longer check your bags through. It has long been a common practice for airlines to check bags through to their final destinations even if they hold two separate tickets. One more reason not to connect to BD's European and UK domestic network...

Not to mention the "no frill" airline approach...

As of this point, I can see BA management is laughing out loud...

I like BMI, but all these recent strategies do not sound logical and profitable, and only annoy more business travellers.

Carfield


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4885 times:

Quoting Carfield (Reply 22):


The latest blow is the discontinuation of interline bag check-in service... if you hold two separate tickets (for example, one ticket on BD from MAN to LHR, and then another ticket from LHR to SFO on UA), BD will no longer check your bags through. It has long been a common practice for airlines to check bags through to their final destinations even if they hold two separate tickets. One more reason not to connect to BD's European and UK domestic network...

Carfield

Is this really true? I was not aware of this. Question: If you cant interline, what is the point of BMI being part of the STAR alliance? If one flies BMI from MAN to ORD to connect with a UA flight to final destination within the US....the pax must deal with rechecking his or her baggage on arrival in ORD - is that seemless service?


User currently offlineRichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3759 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4874 times:

They have 8 flights per day LHR-AMS and 1 flight per day LHR-MAD, which means you'll get business passengers going to AMS and not to MAD. Looks like this isn't the best utilisation of aircraft.

25 Post contains images MainMAN : Oh how true......put like that, it's a bit pathetic really. I reckon the lot of us could have done a better job. I'd sit in my corner and interject e
26 Carfield : The new policy will begin August 1st, 2005. If you buy TWO separate tickets, BD will no longer check your bags through... But if you buy one single ti
27 Zkojh : that sucks, because when I fly, from AKL to MAN i do the AKL to LHR bit on NZ and by the LHR to MAN bit as an extra, because it works out cheaper, if
28 Post contains images 7LBAC111 : Please - don't give them more ideas! How profitable are they? WIth additional capacity and better a/c utilisation might make these routes work - part
29 Richardw : BA, Virgin and GT all have Holiday divisions. Wouldn't it be better for Bmi to sell their seats as part of making money through selling holidays, than
30 7LBAC111 : In theory yes, but in reality BMI struggle to focus on the four divisions of their company which already exist. Adding a leisure package division wou
31 Sammyhostie : Yes. BMI operate our (VS) services to the Caribbean from MAN.
32 Egmcman : At LHR many of their routes are going to economy only according to the BBC.
33 7LBAC111 : Thats been news for weeks.
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