Humberside
Topic Author
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Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:24 pm

Quite a bit of news in this bmi press release, including possible new bmi medium haul routes and improvements to bmi's on board product

Quote:
• 17 new bmi destinations from Heathrow now on sale
• new daily direct services to Cairo, Amman and Beirut
• launches new mid-haul and long haul product enhancements
• new lie-flat beds on Riyadh, Jeddah, US and Caribbean routes
• major improvements to long-haul premium economy product
• announces plans for further expansion of mid-haul network

bmi, Heathrow’s second-largest carrier, today announced the largest-ever expansion of its route network, with the opening of sales to 17 new destinations, including Baku, Tehran, Beirut, Amman, Almaty and Yerevan. The new routes, starting 28 October 2007, will operate from Heathrow’s Terminal 1 with an improved timetable for business travellers and with a new enhanced in-flight product.

The move marks the completion of the integration of BA destinations that were operated by BMED under a franchise agreement. BMED was purchased by bmi in February 2007.

Coinciding with the launch of the new routes, the airline is to introduce major enhancements to its in-flight product. This includes improved food and drinks service on all its mid-haul and long-haul routes, new amenity kits and kids’ packs, and in-flight entertainment offering up to 22 films, including the latest blockbuster movies. Up to nine TV channels will show programming exclusive to bmi.

From mid-September, bmi will be introducing new lie-flat beds on services from Heathrow to Riyadh and to Jeddah, as well as to the Caribbean and to the United States from Manchester.

At the same time the airline will launch a much-enhanced premium economy product on services to the USA and to the Caribbean, providing travellers with a genuine business class seat in a premium economy cabin, which, with a generous 49 inch seat pitch, is 11 inches greater than that offered by competitors.

bmi also announced plans for further expansion of its mid-haul route network from next year, as the first of its additional aircraft are delivered. The deliveries are part of a US$ 750 million aircraft acquisition programme announced earlier this year.

Nigel Turner, chief executive of bmi group, said: “These new routes represent the single largest expansion of the bmi brand in the history of the airline, and mark our continuing transition into a truly global airline.

“Ten years ago, we had a network that was 100 per cent short-haul domestic and European. From the end of October, more than half of our destinations from Heathrow will be in the mid-haul and long-haul markets.

“We will serve 36 destinations from Heathrow this winter, with an in-flight product that provides the highest level of service to business and leisure travellers alike. It is a network that will particularly enhance transfer traffic as all 36 destinations will be served from Terminal 1.

“We have also identified a number of key destinations which we are eager to serve from Heathrow, including Kiev, Minsk, Kuwait City, Lahore, Tel Aviv, Dammam and Sana'a as well as increasing flights from Heathrow to Moscow. We will be seeking a number of such opportunities over the coming months.”

The full list of new routes being launched on 28 October includes Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Aleppo, Syria; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Amman, Jordan; Ankara, Turkey; Baku, Azerbaijan; Beirut, Lebanon; Bishkek, Kyrgystan; Cairo, Egypt (4 November); Dakar, Senegal; Damascus, Syria; Ekaterinburg, Russia; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Khartoum, Sudan; Tbilisi, Georgia; Tehran, Iran; Yerevan, Armenia. Services to Amman and Beirut will be served by daily direct flights, an increase over the previous BA schedule.

Peter Spencer, the new managing director of bmi’s mainline operations, added: “This is an exciting day in the history of bmi, as we develop our brand as a mid-haul and long-haul airline. It is the culmination of many months of hard work by our integration teams. This is just the start of our strategy to develop a comprehensive network of mid-haul services from London Heathrow and provide product enhancements to both mid-haul and long-haul travellers.

“We will continue to focus on maintaining our superior punctuality record at Heathrow where Civil Aviation Authority figures clearly show we outperform all other British airlines at the airport.”

Frequent flyers on these bmi services will be able to benefit from bmi diamond club which is officially the UK's most generous frequent flyer programme.


[Edited 2007-09-04 14:32:26]
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bennett123
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RE: Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:28 pm

Have they re branded the old BMED aircraft or are they still in BA colours?.
 
AIR MALTA
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RE: Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:30 pm

Well interesting news from BMI. They seem to be on the offensive now. And think it was a smart move from them to get those routes and they seem they would like to add new routes such as Sana'a and Tel Aviv. All these routes could be money maker on the longer term and surely better then the LHR-BRU or LHR-AMS operations. It is a shame that BA focuses only on the American market.

I have checked prices to Baku and a return ticket in November costs 1300 pounds. That's more than an economy ticket to New York!!!
Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
 
UAL777UK
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RE: Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:53 pm

A massive espansion on all accounts, I hope they make a success of them and those new routes they are targeting. Its a shame that they are going to delay the US flights out of LHR, that would have been the icing on the cake. Having travelled theough T1 at the weekend I note that the installation of more BMI check in counters is well advanced and looking very impressive as well I might add, although they did not have to do much to improve current facilities!
 
bastew
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RE: Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:03 pm

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 1):
Have they re branded the old BMED aircraft or are they still in BA colours?.

I passed a BMED 320 at Heathrow yesterday that was parked outside the hanger at Hatton cross. All white with just the ex BA blue under-belly.

Are the news beds going to be fully flat or angled?

Any news on US destinations from LHR?
 
adicool
Posts: 169
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RE: Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:16 pm

I really like BD actually, I think they are a terrific alternative to BA when it comes to flying within Europe and Mid-Eastern destinations. But the really need to do something about their long-haul network and how they are gonna integrate MAN and LHR operations.
I'm still very sure, that if LH would get a controlling majority in BD, the carrier could actually become a global player within the next five years, giving BA and oneworld a hard time in LHR...
Has anyone ever flown with them to the USA? I wonder how their products are. I've only flew them once from LHR to AMS but I really liked the flight...
 
n272wa
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RE: Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:30 pm

BMI have also announced an 8th daily rotation between London and Dublin.
Next: (EI)DUB-ORD-DUB, DUB-EWR-IAH-DFW-MSY-AUS-AMA-DEN-EWR-DUB
 
theginge
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RE: Bmi News

Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:06 pm

The seats on the BMED aircraft will be angled seats as you can't really fit that many flat beds in a small airbus! BA have announced on their website that they will be code sharing with BMI on the BMED routes.

The aircraft are going through the hangers in the next 6 weeks where they will wear a hybrid livery during the change over and after as it is a compromise between BA and BMI. BA didn't want BA liveried aircraft operating BMI flights after the change over and on the other hand they couldn;t have BMI liveried aircraft operating BA routes before the change over. Hence the hybrid. I think they will be fully painted in BMI colours later this year or sometime next year.

I think that while one of BMED's 8 aircraft will be constantly out of action for the next 6 weeks I think a BMI aircraft will fly certain BMED routes as cover. Not sure whether that will be full BMI livery though.
 
sk736
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RE: Bmi News

Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:03 am

Quoting Theginge (Reply 7):
. I think they will be fully painted in BMI colours later this year or sometime next year.

bmi doesn't have a record of quickly repainiting aircraft. None of their original A321s were repainted and two A320s are still wearing the basic British Midland livery. I wouldn't be surprised to see ex-BMed aircraft flying around in hybrid liveries for many years to come.


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lovinitflyboy
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RE: Bmi News

Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:15 am

Quoting Theginge (Reply 7):
I think that while one of BMED's 8 aircraft will be constantly out of action for the next 6 weeks I think a BMI aircraft will fly certain BMED routes as cover. Not sure whether that will be full BMI livery though.

G-MIDL will go across to BMED, she wears star alliance colours which are easy to change to full white, so it wont be full bmi livery, but not sure what she will go across wearing!

Quoting SK736 (Reply 8):
bmi doesn't have a record of quickly repainiting aircraft. None of their original A321s were repainted and two A320s are still wearing the basic British Midland livery. I wouldn't be surprised to see ex-BMed aircraft flying around in hybrid liveries for many years to come.

Don't quote me but i'm sure that i saw somewhere that all BMED aircraft must be repainted into full bmi livery within one year from the change over, as part of the sale agreement
 
jfk777
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RE: Bmi News

Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:35 pm

What about service to the USA after all years of waiting for the Open Skies agreement to come to life.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:50 am

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 10):
What about service to the USA after all years of waiting for the Open Skies agreement to come to life

You now need to hold your breath until 2009 before you will see a BMI aircraft head to the US from LHR.
 
ZKOJH
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:27 am

in the Times 2nite theirs a big artical on this, and to sum it up usa is being scrapped and they now want to go eastwards they can't hit both markets at once, so much for getting open sky's, and intresting that they have brought 'Boeing aircraft too. the only part of the company is WW that is boeing a/c and weve only had 2 more ac.
Vietnam time..
 
flytuitravel
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:30 am

I think it is a good idea to scrap the USA in favour of the Middle East, Asia because I somehow think bmi isn't clever enough to survive in the tough Transatlantic market. Anyone think the same?

 Smile
 
voodoo
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:43 am

Bring on the A321 in full BMI livery....! Its years overdue!
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
lovinitflyboy
Posts: 112
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:53 am

Quoting Zkojh (Reply 12):
in the Times 2nite theirs a big artical on this, and to sum it up usa is being scrapped

I was in a meeting this morning with some senior management and we were talking about this article and how it has been miss quoted. The USA expansion will happen but in 2009, the plans have not been scrapped, just put back. There was some talk of other future destination and the main focus is to the Middle and Far East at the moment. It looks like a return to India might not be out of the question, just not BOM!
 
adicool
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:51 am

Quoting FlyTUITravel (Reply 13):
I think it is a good idea to scrap the USA in favour of the Middle East, Asia because I somehow think bmi isn't clever enough to survive in the tough Transatlantic market. Anyone think the same?

I have to disagree, I think especially with feeders from other *A-members like LH, LX, SK and OS to LHR, BD could do very well on the LHR-USA market. Not to mention that they could finally fill up the gap of a LHR-JFK service that *A has!
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:06 am

Quoting Adicool (Reply 16):
Not to mention that they could finally fill up the gap of a LHR-JFK service that *A has!

Isnt US Airways starting this route next year ?

Next year Virgins going to get a major bashing....all the newbies into LHR and the end of that protective market Bransons held onto.
Given that VS had a massive profit shrink and that SQ want to sell their stake... means the 49% of VS is going to be somewhat lower in price.
Given the money markets and Branson have a very bad relationship when it comes to stakes in Virgin companies I dont think any non-airline bidders will step forwards.

Next year you'll have a bunch of new tin pot US airlines in LHR with people walking over scaffolding and piles of bricks at LHR.. it's BA who will be laughing in T5, VS falling over debris and US airline paying over the odds for landing slots and selling budget flights in a free for all.

At the same time in the middle east.. BA is afraid to fly, those who visit the UK are usually very wealthy and dont trust their own "bottom tier" national airlines so BMI will come up swimming.

Then in 2009 when VS hit's the wall, the US Airlines have sold their slots and gone back to LGW where their's more money.. BD can set up it's US shop in a nice newer terminal with nice new planes and a few routes claimed from VS.

for once BD have made an excellant move.


I still vote that maybe BD will buy VS (or that LH will).
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
Viscount724
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:32 am

Quoting Adicool (Reply 16):
Quoting FlyTUITravel (Reply 13):
I think it is a good idea to scrap the USA in favour of the Middle East, Asia because I somehow think bmi isn't clever enough to survive in the tough Transatlantic market. Anyone think the same?

I have to disagree, I think especially with feeders from other *A-members like LH, LX, SK and OS to LHR, BD could do very well on the LHR-USA market. Not to mention that they could finally fill up the gap of a LHR-JFK service that *A has!

I can't see BD picking up much feeder traffic from LH. LX, SK or OS via LHR since they alll operate nonstop to several US points, and from much more civilized hubs than the chaos of LHR. And to points in the US that may only be served from/to LHR, I would much prefer a nonstop between FRA/MUC/ZRH/CPH/VIE and the USA and a domestic connection there, rather than connecting at LHR.
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:46 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
I would much prefer a nonstop between FRA/MUC/ZRH/CPH/VIE and the USA and a domestic connection there, rather than connecting at LHR.

I hear that !!!!
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
Humberside
Topic Author
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RE: Bmi News

Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:30 pm

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 17):
Quoting Adicool (Reply 16):
Not to mention that they could finally fill up the gap of a LHR-JFK service that *A has!

Isnt US Airways starting this route next year ?

No
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adicool
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:38 am

RE: Bmi News

Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:23 am

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 17):
I still vote that maybe BD will buy VS (or that LH will).

Sooner or later LH will gain control over BD - they will definitely acquire SK's stocks and I am very sure that SMB will sell his stocks eventually. We all know that with LH's help, BD could finally step up on the same level as BA. I think BD will get some brand recognition in the Middle East and Central Asia with their new services through the acquisition of BMED.
The networks of BD and VS are indeed very complementary...VS has a fairly good long-haul network but relays only on their hub LHR and LGW. They don't get any feeders from the European continent. BD on the other hand have a fairly good Eurasian short/mid-haul network and have their two hubs LHR and MAN...I think a merge of those two carriers is inevitable but with back up from LH, I think it will be VS that will acquired and integrated into BD's and hence *A's network. The only question is what BD/VS would do about LGW and MAN...
The British aviation is becoming more and more interesting and I really would like to see some British airlines giving BA a hard time on their Americas routes and Oceania...
 
David_itl
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RE: Bmi News

Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:44 am

Quoting Adicool (Reply 21):
The only question is what BD/VS would do about LGW and MAN

For MAN, I see the situation as follows: BD + VS both fly MAN-BGI (2 weekly by BD summer and 3 weekly in winter, weekly by VS) - that can go to 2 or 3 weekly combined operation. BD fly 3 weekly MAN-LAS in suumer with 2 flight im winter- perhaps we could envisage this becoming a 2 weekly VS service. This would lead to: 10 weekly MAN-MCO, 2 weekly MAN-BGI, 2 weekly MAN-LAS i.e. no need for postioning flights between MAN and LGW as 2 744s could be "properly" based and have the option to rotate the fleet at any end destination.

The only "odd" route would be the daily MAN-ORD sector but if VS are serious about placing 787s at LGW and MAN in addition to LHR, then we could see MAN-JFK opened up to run alongside MAN-ORD. So short-term, 2 A330s until both replaced by 787.

Addtional aircraft to be added appropriate to the markets that they start: 2 weekly LAX, weekly HAV, weekly MBJ and addtional weekly to MCO/LAS/BGI probably 744s. 3-4 weekly DEL/ 3-4 weekly HKG probably 787s. *Note new routes stated in this paragraph are just random thoughts and not based on fact or rumour*
 
HUYfan
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RE: Bmi News

Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:24 am

As usual StarGoldLHR talking tripe.

Regards

Mike