bmi regional trading update and 2014 outlook
- Major new Scandinavian launches this week
- herald further growth for bmi regional
bmi regional’s set to maintain its programme of growth in 2014 with significant new services coming on stream for Scandinavia in the coming weeks. Four new routes will commence this week from Stavanger in Norway to Gothenburg, Tromso, Harstad / Narvik, and Kristiansund, with capacity on Aberdeen-Oslo being doubled in early February.
Last year marked the first full year of independent operations for the airline since ceasing to be a subsidiary of the bmi Group in June 2012. 2013 was one of significant development and investment for bmi regional as it launched new routes, created new jobs and retained its title of the UK's most punctual airline for the eighth consecutive year*.
Highlights in 2013 include:
- Flying more than 10 million kilometres and carrying almost 500,000 passengers;
- Launching a range of successful routes from Bristol, Birmingham and Aberdeen and also from Bremen to Toulouse, its first ever service on the continent, to position the airline for growth outside of the UK;
- Launching a wide range of new services providing improved connectivity to the oil and gas industry, including Kristiansund and Oslo in Norway to Aberdeen;
- Doubling of the private charter and corporate shuttle business – catering for major corporates, oil and gas clients, sports teams and entertainment headliners;
- Awarded Airline of the Year at the prestigious European Region Airlines Association (ERAA) Annual Awards in Salzburg, Austria;
- Achieving the accolade of most punctual airline in the UK for the eighth consecutive year, and continuing this for the first three quarters of 2013 (latest period reported), ahead of airlines including Flybe, Ryanair and easyJet;
- Recognised as easiest airline website to book in the UK, according to research undertaken by the editorial team of Daily Telegraph, based on the number of mouse clicks and time taken to book a flight, beating 12 other short-haul UK airlines**;
- Developing its contract flying capability, operating on behalf of other carriers through wet-lease: the airline commenced flying for Swedish regional carrier Flyglinjen between Kristianstad and Stockholm Arlanda, as a result of the reputation for operational excellence and the quality of the bmi regional brand;
- Created almost 100 new jobs across its operation, in particular East Midlands, Aberdeen and Bristol, supporting its core infrastructure and network expansion.
Cathal O'Connell, Chief Executive, bmi regional, said: "Last year was one of significant development and investment to establish bmi regional from a subsidiary of a group to a standalone business. We’ve rebuilt our infrastructure and systems and reshaped our operating network to focus on profitable routes which enables us to continue our growth into 2014. We have built Bristol into a major new base, targeted the growing oil and gas business through our increased Aberdeen network and created almost 100 new jobs in Bristol, Aberdeen and the Midlands.”
Highlights for the airline for the first quarter of 2014 include:
- January 2014: the airline will introduce a range of new services in Scandinavia, launching four new routes from Stavanger in Norway supported directly from the Aberdeen base. This major expansion will connect Stavanger, the country’s oil and gas industry hub, with Harstad, Tromso, and Kristiansund, all important locations for the energy sector, and Gothenburg in Sweden;
- February 2014: bmi regional will double capacity on its Aberdeen – Oslo route, which has already proven a big success with the oil and gas business in Aberdeen and Oslo;
- March 2014: The launch of Newcastle-Brussels service, connecting the north-east of the UK with the rest of the world through Brussels, and providing the only direct flight for from the north east of England to the Belgium.
O'Connell concluded: “We’re an airline on the move and this year represents the start of a new era for us. Being one of the youngest airlines in Europe our advantage is that we’re able to maximise growth through a mix of organic expansion and partnerships”.