bmi confirmed plans to cut its “unsustainable” London Heathrow-Glasgow service from 27-Mar-2011, which it operates up to seven times daily – see Route Changes Table for more information (Edinburgh News/BBC News/Eecho, 31-Jan-2011). The airline added that “a number of employees” are at risk of redundancy following the decision. bmi attributed the decision to increased charges for domestic passengers by Heathrow operator BAA, stating domestic passengers are being charged the same as international passengers. The airline said it remains “committed” to Scotland and will continue to operate to Edinburgh and Aberdeen six times daily. bmi will transfer the slots to new services to Bergen, Stavanger, Casablanca and Marrakesh. The Scottish Government expressed its disappointment at the decision.
bmi’s claims have been rejected by BAA, which stated the airline’s decision to drop the service has little to do with airport charges. The airport operator maintains that bmi’s decision is in line with public statements about its restructuring programme, which include reducing domestic services and focussing on more profitable long-haul routes. BAA stated these statements were made prior to the changed pricing structure.
Scottish Government: “Today’s news from bmi is obviously very disappointing for Glasgow. In my discussions with the chief executive it has been clear that this commercial decision has been taken reluctantly, based on underlying issues on the route. The route does not appear to have been commercially viable for bmi for some time. In my discussions with Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, he has understood my concerns about the importance of air links for Scottish cities, businesses and individuals. I appreciate that the decision has not been taken lightly." Michael Moore, Secretary. Source: Edinburgh News, 31-Jan-2011.