bmi chairman announces introduction of lie-flat beds to A330 fleet
release date: 19/09/2006
- visit marks first anniversary of burgeoning London Heathrow-Riyadh route
Sir Michael Bishop, chairman of bmi, today announced during a visit to Saudi Arabia that lie-flat beds are to be introduced to the business class cabin on all of the airline’s long haul routes.
From next June, bmi’s award-winning ‘the business’ cabin on its entire fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft will feature electronically-adjustable lie-flat beds, with a generous 80 inch seat pitch.
Sir Michael is visiting Riyadh and Jeddah to meet with His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman, Secretary General of the Supreme Commission for Tourism, as well as government, tourism and business representatives. He is also guest of honour at a dinner being hosted by the British Ambassador Sir Sherard Cowper Coles.
Sir Michael said: “The route between London Heathrow and Riyadh has achieved significant success and is moving into profitability. Thanks to this, and the tremendous ongoing support we have enjoyed, we were able to start the service to Jeddah earlier this year which is experiencing similar success.
“We are proud and delighted to be the only British carrier serving Saudi Arabia and are confident that our investment in the introduction of lie-flat beds will create further demand and growth on these routes.
“We will also be reintroducing the A330 onto our Riyadh and Jeddah routes from next Spring.”
The introduction of lie-flat beds represents an investment of £2 million for bmi.
notes to editors
• September marks the first anniversary of the three times-weekly London Heathrow-Riyadh route. The Jeddah route, also three times-weekly, was introduced in May this year following the success of the Riyadh service.
• Saudi Arabia services offer two cabin classes – 42 lie-flat beds in the business and 156 economy seat from June 2007.
• All other long haul routes offer three cabins – the business (18 lie-flat beds from June 2007), premium economy (30 beds) and economy (172 beds)
• The ‘Perseus’ lie-flat beds are made by Aviointeriors of Italy (www.aviointeriors.it), and will be fitted in a 2-2-2 abreast configuration.
• bmi is the second largest airline at London Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest and best connected airports. Across its full mainline and regional network, bmi operates nearly 1,700 flights a week to: Aberdeen; Alicante; Amsterdam; Antigua; Barbados; Belfast City; Brussels; Chicago; Copenhagen; Dublin; Durham Tees Valley; Edinburgh; Esbjerg; Glasgow; Groningen; Hanover; Inverness; Jeddah; Las Vegas; Leeds Bradford; London Heathrow; Manchester; Moscow Domodedovo (from October 2006) Mumbai; Naples; Nice; Norwich; Nottingham East Midlands; Palma de Mallorca; Paris Charles de Gaulle; Riyadh; Toulouse and Venice.
• bmi is a member of Star Alliance, established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance was voted Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller magazine in 2003 and 2006 and by Skytrax in 2003 and 2005. The members are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, THAI, United, US Airways and VARIG Brazilian Airlines. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Overall, Star Alliance offers more than 16,000 daily flights to 841 destinations in 157 countries.