BMI Regional, which in some ways is the last piece of the British Midland group, with it’s origins dating back to 1938 appears to be the latest U.K. airline to run into problems. Flights canceled and aircraft returning empty to Norwich, a common location for storage.
Nothing official yet though. Updated just after I posted this, they’ve now filed for Administration and ceased operations.
A spokesperson for flybmi said:
“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today. The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme. These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit. Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe. Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.
“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40m in the last six years. We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.
“Our employees have worked extremely hard over the last few years and we would like to thank them for their dedication to the company, as well as all our loyal customers who have flown with us over the last 6 years.”
Bmi Regional employed a total of 376 employees based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.
Not a good time for the smaller airlines of the U.K., with the other main regional, Flybe, also having an iffy time. A rescue deal is in the works for them, potentially becoming part of the Virgin group.
Flybmi operate 17 Embraer 135 and 145s, coving routes in the U.K. and Mainland Europe. In 2015 they became part of the same group as Loganair, a Scottish regional.