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TheLocalYokel

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Milan Malpensa

It seems the MXP route is being reduced to 4 x weekly from this week (Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun). All the routes were due to be reduced for the winter, with Hannover now axed for the winter, but looking ahead the Milan returns to 5 x weekly in January then back to 6 x weekly in February - maybe they have an eye on the ski market with Ryanair's Bergamo not operational in winter.

Things can change of course.
 

Aviador

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There's a lot of speculation on other forums about BMI reducing the number of bases it has, possibly with the loss of Edinburgh and Birmingham. I have no knowledge to suggest this is indeed true but can anybody on the BRS forum shed any light?
 

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There's a lot of speculation on other forums about BMI reducing the number of bases it has, possibly with the loss of Edinburgh and Birmingham. I have no knowledge to suggest this is indeed true but can anybody on the BRS forum shed any light?
I've got no more information than the speculation elsewhere. The BRS routes are all shown as operating this winter, except Hannover that was axed a few weeks ago, with the five others running at slightly reduced frequencies this winter compared with the summer but, again, this was known several weeks ago.

I've just submitted a post in the bmi regional airline thread.
 

big g

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Aviador said:
There's a lot of speculation on other forums about BMI reducing the number of bases it has, possibly with the loss of Edinburgh and Birmingham. I have no knowledge to suggest this is indeed true but can anybody on the BRS forum shed any light?
The BMI crew were notified by email yesterday, MAN, BHX and EDI bases are to close.
What will happen with the crew and aircraft is yet to be seen.
 

tpm

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A BBC news article claims:

The airline, which employs about 400 people, expects no net job losses as a result of the move. (...) "We have started consultations with affected employees, including the opportunity to move to one of our other crew bases.
Would this not imply that aircraft are kept (or replaced) and redeployed on other routes from the surviving bases (or new bases)?

Wonder whether this might mean the possibility of new routes from Bristol? I would've expected at least a replacement of the discontinued Hanover rotation. I still think Dusseldorf would make a good route, it's a 11 million people metro area with lots of industry after all. Oslo and Stockholm might work. Also surprised there are no direct flights to Vienna at all, which makes for a great tourist and business destination, quite similar to Munich in many ways, but maybe it's too close to Bratislava (but then most people will probably not consider flying to Bratislava with Ryanair to get to Vienna, I certainly didn't).

Concentrating routes at fewer bases should also help with marketing one would think.
 

TheLocalYokel

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It's a job to know what bmi regional has in mind. NCL could see more routes and there could be an expansion of its venture in Norway I suppose, which would still be in line with its ' no net job losses' statement.

Possibly Hannover will return next summer. It's been dropped and the other routes have been reduced in frequency for the winter, although not drastically. Why HAJ was chosen in the first place when, on the face of it, DUS looks more promising I don't know. I guess there must have been a reason.

Oslo and Stockholm worked well in 2007 and 2008 as summer only routes with 737 equipment with reports suggesting it exceeded SAS's expectations. The routes disappeared when SAS encountered financial difficulties and massively reduced its fleet and route size. I suppose they might be considered. Scandinavia is still a 'no-go' area on the BRS network apart from Copenhagen.

I don't know how many people fly on the FR Bratislava service to reach Vienna (in the past two years it's become a summer-only route from BRS) - perhap's it's a surprise that it's not become a Ryanairesque Vienna(Bratistava) Airport - but looking at the CAA stats Vienna is not a major destination from the UK with only LHR and LGW having any sort of service, although I believe that MAN is getting one soon, though not with bmir. So there might not be a market from BRS, especially with a small airline that is not well-known.

I've had a look at the routes dropped by easyJet, Ryanair and others over the past few years that haven't been picked up by someone else and it's hard to find many that bmi regional might be interested in. Porto is one that comes to mind but it would probably be summer only as it was with Ryanair. It's about 50 miles further than BRS-MUC.

Porto is one of Bristol's twin cities (but so is Hannover) but I'm not sure if there is much if any wine industry connectivity these days. Bordeaux, another twin city, is operatet by easyJet in summer about 4 x weekly, but easyJet is much better known than bmir of course.

Seville with its Airbus links might be a contender - Ryanair tried it for three summers.

Then there is northern France. BRS has a good spread of French routes generally but the north is lacking. Dinard has been tried by Ryanair and later chopped, and Nantes was flown by Aer Arann for one summer. Trouble is they are mainly leisure routes and might not interest bmir as they'd probably be restricted to weekends and possibly one weekday.

How about a route to Leeds-Bradford?
 

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I received my regular email update from BRS this week which contained these items concerning bmi regional, amongst other things.

[textarea]FREE parking with bmi regional

Free parking offer on flights to Frankfurt

Frankfurt is Germany’s business capital and thousands visit the international exhibition centre every year or just take in meetings in the city’s business quarter.

Fly direct to Frankfurt with regular flights with bmi regional from just £79 one way, including taxes and baggage. Plus, when you travel with bmi regional, your bags travel for free (up to 20kg) and you’ll receive complimentary food and drinks on-board.

Book before 21 February 2014 and get FREE parking for all new bookings to Frankfurt with travel between 1 March until 30 April 2014.[/textarea]

[textarea]Calling all business travellers

Do you frequently travel with bmi regional?

If so, we want to know what you think about the range of flights available and the products and services they offer.

Please complete our bmi regional online survey by 28 February, to help us ensure we are meeting your travel needs.

Bristol Airport will also be hosting another business travel forum this March at which we will explore the requirements of business passengers in more detail, with representatives from bmi regional on hand to take your questions. When completing the survey, please indicate whether you would be interested in attending this event, which will be held at a city centre location in Bristol. All guests at the business travel forum will receive a complimentary ticket for the Aspire Lounge at Bristol Airport.[/textarea]

I always wonder when free parking and other inducement are offered for a route because it can suggest it needs bolstering. A couple of years ago Flybe offered free parking on its BRS-Isle of Man route (I remember taking advantage of it) and that route has now been axed.

It's always good to see the airport yet again going in for positive initiatives with its latest business travel forum where again bmi regional is featured. The hope must be that the airline and airport are intent on some fine tuning of the network with a view to greater profitability rather than an indication that things might not be going so well.
 

Aviador

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Interesting reading that when BMI Regional have confirmed they are going to go all economy.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Interesting reading that when BMI Regional have confirmed they are going to go all economy.
Yes, and from BRS's angle the statement of bmi regional's director of marketing is intriguing when he says, "The next step is ensuring that Bristol gets more connectivity, building our position in the energy business, and also connecting into longer-haul hubs."

Could mean a number of things including possibly a new destination or two. Perhaps I was being a bit pessimistic in my post yesterday.
 

TheLocalYokel

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[textarea]bmi regional carries over 15,000 passengers between Bristol and Hamburg in first year

bmi regional (www.bmiregional.com), the UK’s most punctual scheduled airline, has more than tripled the number of passengers it carries each month on its Bristol to Hamburg route since launching 12 months ago (on 13 February, 2013). The service carried over 15,000 passengers in its first twelve months, bringing commercial benefit to the south west and boosting tourism.

Cathal O’Connell, CEO of bmi regional, said: “Over the past year we’ve more than tripled our monthly passenger loads between Bristol and Hamburg which is a laudable achievement on a new route. Whilst September was the strongest month overall, we’ve seen enduring demand for the route well into the winter months and in our recent sale Hamburg has proven popular. Airbus – which has hubs in Bristol and Hamburg - and Imperial Tobacco and Garrad Hassan are among core clients, and over the summer we saw a healthy amount of leisure traffic drawn to Hamburg by its reputation as cultural hub and centre for the arts.”

Shaun Browne, Bristol Airport Aviation Director, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the first anniversary of bmi regional’s Hamburg flight. During the last twelve months this twice-daily service has proved popular for both business and leisure passengers. The schedule offers flexibility to those wishing to visit Hamburg for business, allowing them to return the same day without the need for an overnight stay. The Friday afternoon departure time also means leisure visitors can make the most of a weekend stay, arriving back in Bristol on Sunday evening.”

He added: “This service gives passengers in the South West and South Wales direct access to another major European city, allowing them to take advantage of the time and cost savings to be made when flying from their regional airport.”

James Durie, Executive Director, Business West said: “The success of the Hamburg route shows business is voting with its feet and the route is clearly satisfying a business demand. Germany is a key business destination and is a leader in the export market for South West businesses. Bristol will be the European Green Capital in 2015, and this route provides a direct link with a previous holder of that title - Hamburg was European Green Capital in 2011 - giving us a great opportunity to attract more investment on the green agenda.”

John Hirst, Destination Bristol’s Chief Executive, said: “Germany is one of Bristol’s most important overseas markets accounting for around 50,000 trips each year so having these regular direct flights between Bristol and Hamburg helps to make our city an even more attractive option for German visitors, providing a welcome boost to tourism and the economy.

He added: “The Bristol-Hamburg route was the first of a series of new direct bmi regional flights between German cities and Bristol that were launched in 2013, and we’re pleased that we’re able to mark its success one year on. Since Bristol won the accolade of European Green Capital 2015 the international spotlight has been firmly upon us, which will hopefully inspire even more German visitors to use the bmi regional flight and experience Bristol for themselves.”

All bmi regional flights offer 20kg checked baggage, a full at-seat bar and snack service and –where possible – 30-minute check-in. In 2013 the airline won the prestigious accolade of Silver Airline of the Year at the European Regions Airline (ERA) Association in Salzburg, Austria.

One-way fares from Bristol to Hamburg start from £88 per person at http://www.bmiregional.com, inclusive of all taxes and charges.[/textarea]
BRS press release at: http://www.bristolairport.co.uk/media-c ... ngers.aspx

The flight was 11 x weekly last summer with 2 x daily on weekdays and single daily on Sundays. However, this winter on Mondays and Fridays it seems to have been single daily for much of the time.

Hopefully the business passengers on this route will enable a decent yield to be achieved.
 

ljm104

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tpm

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Excellent news. Shame Lufthansa.com's booking engine doesn't know about it yet.

Was surprised to read that
... the majority of sales came through travel agents and travel management companies which [BMI Regional chief executive Cathal O’Connell ] described as a “valuable distribution channel”
That would explain though why bmi didn't seem particularly bothered when I asked them how it was possible that I showed up at Frankfurt airport the other day and wasn't allow to check in because there was simply no trace of the ticket I had booked online anywhere in the system (despite them having taken payment successfully and me having received a booking confirmation).
 

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bmi regional/Lufthansa code share

bmi regional said a few weeks ago that their next step was to ensure that Bristol gets more connectivity - this must be it.

Access onto the LH mainline network at FRA (particularly) and MUC is indeed excellent news and, has been said above, should ensure better bmi loads as well as opening up the world still more through another major hub.

When LH operated the FRA route in 2008-2009 they were probably a little too ambitious initially with 21 weekly (3 x daily) flights on a Bae 146-300 of Eurowings in summer 2008. That was too many seats to fill despite BRS passengers using every one of the airline's worldwide connecting destinations through FRA within the first six months. The winter that year and into 2009 saw reductions in frequency.

In the 13 months of the route's operation (before that the BA franchisees had operated BRS-FRA for a decade or more with DH3-800s then E145s) LH carried just under 100,000 passengers but the looming recession coupled with the need to protect the more established FRA routes from LHR and BHX led to LH suddenly announcing that the BRS route would cease within a month, much to the surprise of the BRS management.

LH had a monthly average load of between 50 and 60 for the 13 months of its operation which suggests that the E 145 ought to be well filled once the news gets around.
 

ljm104

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Hopefully being double daily to FRA will ensure reasonable connection times and, if load factors are strong enough, a second daily rotation to Munich could be on the cards.

I think the key to this codeshare succeeding will be making sure enough people know about it, given the relatively low profile of BMI Regional.
 

Seasider

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I was at MXP on Monday when 'XD arrived on the BRS flight, followed by 'BN which took the return flight back. 'XD was then parked up overnight. Seems a strange place to swap airframes and park up. Anyone know why?
 

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On Mondays the scheduled daily BMA 1815 from BRS to MXP which leaves BRS at 1130 is complemented for some reason by a BMA 8502 which departs BRS at 0930 for MXP.

Similarly on Fridays a BMA 8503 arrives from MXP at BRS at 1700, one hour after the scheduled daily BMA 1816.

Both aircraft are shown on Mayfly as E 145s.

Only the daily BMA 1815/1816 is shown on the bmi regional booking site so the other aircraft must be some sort of private charter, possibly linked to Airbus although I'm only guessing this given that bmi regional operates the intensive Airbus corporate shuttle at BRS to Toulouse and Hawarden. What happens to the second aircraft between Monday and Friday each week I have no idea.

bmi regional does operate a lot of one-off charters using its BRS-based aircraft, especially though not exclusively at weekends.

I hope that someone else can solve this riddle conclusively.
 

big g

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Mar 27, 2011
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Correct it was a charter flight.

Just a rundown of BMI flight numbers.
BM18xx - schedule
BM17xx - Airbus. (Sometimes ST17xx)
BM27xx - Airbus. ( " " ST27xx)
BM8xxx - Charter
BM9xxx - Ferry flight.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Many thanks for that list big g - most useful.
 

tpm

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Does anyone know when we can expect to be able to book flights on the Lufthansa web site? The airport's press release said 'from 4 April', but lufthansa.com doesn't seem to know about it yet, and wants to route me BRS -> BRU -> FRA | MUC -> ...
 

alphagolf

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I am not 100% sure but I think the process is as per BRS press release:-

Passengers wishing to travel to Frankfurt or Munich can book as normal with bmi regional at http://www.bmiregional.com and those wishing to travel further can make bookings on the Lufthansa website http://www.LH.com.
Although it is surprising that you cannot book direct flights to MUC and FRA through LH.com, maybe it's just a matter of time, who knows.

If anyone else knows anything different I am more than happy to stand corrected.

alphagolf
 
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