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British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Wed Sep 13, 2000 7:08 pm

British Midland has just announced that starting in April, they will fly from Manchester, U.K. to the American cities of Washington (Dulles) and Chicago (ORD), using the new A330-200s. These flights will also be codeshared with United Airlines from IAD and ORD and to twenty more cities beyond those hubs. Any comments?

Aaron G.

Here is the (long) press release:

British Midland Launches First Scheduled Service to U.S.

Offers Nonstops From Chicago and Washington, DC to Manchester With Special Introductory Fares Starting at $399
Updated 5:30 AM ET September 13, 2000
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- British Midland, the UK's second largest scheduled airline, will inaugurate its first scheduled transatlantic passenger service with the only daily nonstop flights from Washington Dulles to Manchester, England beginning April 30, 2001 and new competitive service from Chicago O'Hare to Manchester on May 21, 2001. Both flights will be operated as a code share with United Airlines, another Star Alliance member. British Midland has applied to link twenty other cities -- Atlanta, Boston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, St. Thomas, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan and Seattle-to this new service through code-shares with United Airlines.
To help promote the new service, British Midland is offering introductory roundtrip fares on the new nonstop transatlantic service beginning at $399. This non-refundable fare is valid for travel Monday through Thursday and offered at $449 on Friday through Sunday. To qualify for these introductory fares, a minimum Sunday overnight stay is required. A maximum 45 day stay is allowed. A change is permitted prior to 45 days before departure at a $150 fee.

Special introductory business class roundtrip air fares are $5990 from Washington, DC and $5249 from Chicago. These business class fares are refundable except for a 20 percent cancellation fee if the change is made prior to departure. All introductory fares must be purchased by October 31, 2000.

"The introduction of these services to Washington, DC and Chicago represents a major step forward in opening up key American business destinations to genuine competition from Britain's regional airports," said British Midland's Chairman Sir Michael Bishop. (Sir Michael Bishop has been campaigning for more than two decades for open skies across the Atlantic and throughout Europe.) "Whenever we have entered a new European market to compete against incumbent airlines, significant fare reductions have resulted. The same is now true on these new transatlantic routes, where we will be introducing savings of up to 24 percent for business travelers and 32 percent for leisure travelers."

Operating Airbus A330-200 aircraft that accommodate 24 business class, 48 enhanced economy class and 172 economy seats, British Midland's flights will depart Washington Dulles Airport at 6:10 p.m. and arrive Manchester at 6:15 a.m. Flights from Chicago will depart at 9 p.m. and arrive Manchester at 10:40 a.m. From Manchester the daily flight to Washington, DC will depart at 12:40 p.m. and arrive Dulles at 3:45 p.m. The flight to Chicago from Manchester will depart at 3:25 p.m. and arrive O'Hare at 5:55 p.m.

Passengers can earn mileage on British Midland or any Star Alliance member including United Airlines as well as from Diamond Club partners Canadian Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

In addition to a range of competitive fares, British Midland will also be offering one of the best long-haul products currently available in the transatlantic market including state of the art, in-flight entertainment systems. Known for its award-winning service, some of the amenities by class of service will be as follows:

Business Class:
-- 60 inch seat pitch, the largest in the market by 10 inches
-- Seats able to recline 160 degrees with full leg and foot support
-- Adjustable lumbar support
-- Noise canceling headset
-- PC power connection
-- Telephones
-- 9 inch video screen
Enhanced economy class:
-- 38 inch seat pitch
-- Adjustable lumbar support and moveable seat cushions
-- PC power connection
-- Telephones
-- Individual seat back video screens
Economy Class:
-- 32 inch seat pitch
-- Adjustable lumbar support and moveable seat cushions
-- Individual seat back video screens
"This is great news for our transatlantic air travelers to and from Manchester," added Sir Michael. "We look forward to bringing similar benefits of competition to transatlantic customers from London's Heathrow Airport in the near future when the Bermuda II agreement is liberalized."
With more than 60 years of flight history, British Midland has grown from a small flying school based in Derby specializing in flight instruction for RAF pilots to the UK's second largest scheduled service airline and Heathrow's second biggest operator. British Midland operates more than 1,200 flights per week from London Heathrow to 32 European destinations in 13 countries. At Manchester, British Midland operates 138 flights per week with non-stop service to London Heathrow, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dusseldorf and Aberdeen.

1. The Bermuda II Air Services Agreement between the United Kingdom and
the United States was signed in 1977. It limits the number of British
and American airlines allowed to operate between London Heathrow and
America to four airlines: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American
Airlines and United Airlines.
2. In March 1999, the UK CAA confirmed that British Midland had been
granted route authority to serve four destinations in the United
States from London Heathrow to New York, Washington, DC, Miami and
3. In September 1999, British Midland launched its Make the Air Fair
campaign to bring greater competition to transatlantic air travel.
4. In February 2000, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) granted British
Midland route authority to serve Chicago and Washington, DC from
5. In February 2000, British Midland confirmed it had chosen Airbus
Industrie as its long-haul aircraft supplier placing a firm order for
four wide-bodied A330-200 aircraft, with options on a another eight.
The total value of the order is US$1.9 billion (1.2 billion pounds
6. In April 2000, British Midland announced that it had chosen
Rolls-Royce engines to power its new long-haul Airbus A330-200
aircraft fleet in an order worth up to US$350 million (220 million
pounds sterling). The engines are to be manufactured at the company's
Derby plant.
7. In July 2000, British Midland and United Airlines received regulatory
approval to code share on routes between Manchester and Chicago and
Washington, DC, including beyond points.

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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Wed Sep 13, 2000 7:13 pm

But more importantly, Trvlr, when will they decide to change the airline's name to something less "provencial"?

(Or was that just a rumor started by someone in this forum?)
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Wed Sep 13, 2000 7:36 pm

Any comments? Yes. Why is this worth a post? has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Wed Sep 13, 2000 7:41 pm

About time! This is great news! Can't wait to see the A330 in BM colours.

Next stop - LHR!

I hope they don't change their name either.

cheers, Phil.
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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Wed Sep 13, 2000 7:48 pm

Bicoastal wrote:

"Any comments? Yes. Why is this worth a post?"

Well, Bicoastal, Let's see... Probably because this is a..... ummmmm..... *CIVIL AVIATION* forum?!

Gosh. It makes perfect sense to me.

BTW, do YOU have any "worthy" posts you'd like put up, besides the dumb one you just posted on this thread???

Hey, -just thought I'd ask, buddy.
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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Wed Sep 13, 2000 9:08 pm

My point is why ask for comments without stating why you think this is significant? Any of us can cut and paste press releases from thousands of airline, manufacturer, enthusiast, etc. web sites. I would hazard to guess that we all review the same popular websites and rarely are posts like this one "news." If you are going to post something here, state why you are posting it. State why it's significant in your opinion. It might help the ever diminishing quality of posts on this forum. has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
User avatar
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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 1:26 am

Bicoastal, I keep up with aviation news and I missed this one. I'm glad that Trvlr posted it and I don't think it's necessary for one to develop a thesis in order to start a new topic. If you're concerned about the "diminishing quality" of this board (and I don't agree with your statement) I would suggest that you make a positive contribution to it instead of sniping.

As for British Midland initiating U.S. service, I'm excited to hear it. I've only flown the carrier once, but their service was superior and I enjoyed the very best breakfast I have ever had inflight. Look forward to seeing A330s in BM colors.
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
- R.M. Rilke

RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 2:37 am

This is very important Aviation news to those of us in the UK;
- British Midland, our second largest scheduled airline is going long haul
- British Midland is introducing a new type of aircraft and their first widebody
- British Midland is introducing a new long haul Busines/Premium Economy/Economy services
- There is currently no service on the MAN-IAD route
- This could spell trouble for AA on the MAN-ORD route
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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 3:04 am

And I thought I had seen the last of my 11th grade English teacher years ago -- sheesh, give us all a break dude! Lighten up a bit.

RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 4:13 am

Come on guys.

In the words of the great conciliator Rodney King, "Owww, stop hitting me."
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:35 pm

RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 10:00 am

Now that BM will be allowed to fly into the US what airlines do you think will be allowed to fly to LHR? TW, CO or DL. I personally think DL will get China route authority but not both because DL has the ac to serve China like 777, 767-400 and MD-11s. NW is mainly focused on Transpacific destinations and the only euro destination they've focused on is Amsterdam. I hope that TW will fly back to Termianl 4 at LHR where they will make a killing there if they have LHR flights out of STL, LAX and JFK. Within a few years of getting into LHR and that stupid Karaboo agreement expiring then TW will be back to it's glorious self and will make large profits. Maybe large enough to fly 747-400s in TW new colors and be America's flagship carrier.

RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 10:04 am

No more US carriers will be allowed access to LHR as a result of British Midland flights. British Midland flights are from Manchester, so there isn't an extra UK airline on the LHR-USA routes that would force the government to open LHR to another US airline to balance the situation.

LHR Bilateral negotiations are entirely separate from these new services, the only link being that the flights are from MAN because negotations have failed so no new airline, UK or US, may start flights between Heathrow and the USA.
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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 10:22 am

Would some one like BD be allowed to operate the flight say IAD - MAN - LHR as a through flight?? Or is even that not allowed??
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RE: British Midland To Begin Flights To The U.S.!

Thu Sep 14, 2000 10:58 am

The time is ticking down until LHR is opened either in openskies or a few new US carriers are allowed to serve LHR. Do not underestimate the chances of TWA being the first in to LHR. It would be a big step to introducing new competition. DL and CO are already major power players. So by letting TWA in to LHR first the playing field is moving towards being level. After all look at how TWA beat out the competition for the coveted outsider the perimeters new service at DCA. That should be a strong clue as to waht may come.
With British Midland starting MAN service and DL wanting to start LGW-BOS service th3 heat is on BA to open LHR to more US service. Until they do they are going to fall further and furtehre behind. Look at the increase in profits at AF and LH reported recently. They attribute it to their stong ties to a US airline. AF. LH, British Midland, US, SAS and god knows who else will be adding US service starting next spring. As things stand now BA can only add one new city in the US. So you see how far BA will fall behind if they just keep their protectionist mentality at LHR too many more months. My prediction is that there will be openskies betrween the US and UK which will take effect in the next 6-7 months. For BA it quite simply has become a do or die time for that.

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