Following its first full year of independent operations, the UK’s BMI Regional reported a so-called trading update and 2014 outlook in late January, under which it announced the launch of new intra-Scandinavia services involving several new destinations, a doubling of capacity on its Aberdeen-Oslo route and this month’s launch of Newcastle-Brussels service.
Last year the former BMI Group subsidiary carried nearly 500,000 passengers while launching its first-ever service on the European continent. The route, connecting Bremen and Toulouse, marked the start of a campaign to expand outside the UK and complemented the launch of a range of routes from Bristol, Birmingham and Aberdeen, Scotland. Other new services, such as Aberdeen to Kristiansund and Oslo in Norway, followed with a plan to improve connectivity for the oil and gas industries.
BMI Regional also expanded its contract business with a wet-lease deal to fly for Swedish regional carrier Flyglinjen between Kristianstad and Stockholm Arlanda. All the new activity has created almost 100 new jobs across its operation, particularly in support of its core infrastructure in network expansion from East Midlands, Aberdeen and Bristol, which it has built into a major new base.
“We’re an airline on the move and this year represents the start of a new era for us,” said BMI Regional CEO Cathal O’Connell. The carrier’s status as one of the youngest airlines in Europe gives it an advantage in that “we’re able to maximize growth through a mix of organic expansion and partnerships.”