Themotionman
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Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:11 am

Is there a chance United could have bought a stake in BMI like DL did with VS in 2012. If they did, how successful would they have been? I think a partnership with LH would have been successful and could have helped UA gain a British partner like DL-VS and AA-BA. Also if it all failed then at least they end up with a load of Heathrow slots. Interesting to know everyone's thoughts...
 
Bhoy
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:33 am

I think Bmi's real problem under LH was that they weren't sure what market they were trying to go for. Dropping shorter flights to Europe, except as feeder flights to LH group hubs, having midrange flights with a separate configuration on their 321s for the Black Sea area, and TATL flights from Manchester, with no feed there.
I had a fair few nice flights with them, but then they started dropping routes, and basically there was no continuity that allowed you to make advance bookings without worrying about them being cancelled.
 
VS11
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:03 am

The fate of bmi was sealed in 1999 when LH bought a stake in bmi. As part of that transaction, Michael Bishop had an option to force LH to buy the rest of bmi for £400m. After playing with the airline unsuccessfully for 10 years, he exercised his option and cashed out leaving LH with a high bill for a bankrupt business.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:11 am

Hindsight is a great thing...
So, well...yes, I suppose... had they defined a clear, precise, well-focused strategy they might have survived to be what was for a long time defined "second force flag carrier", a bit like BCal were back in the day.
Rather than shrinking they could/should have opened more long haul routes to key destinations, forge a more functioning partnership with LH (and the LH group in the broader sense, including SN in Brussels), and create some meaningful feed to their long-haul network from some major European gateways and niche business markets. Manchester could have been the perfect playground given how BA have all but divested from the airport....
 
Themotionman
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:37 am

oldannyboy wrote:
Hindsight is a great thing...
So, well...yes, I suppose... had they defined a clear, precise, well-focused strategy they might have survived to be what was for a long time defined "second force flag carrier", a bit like BCal were back in the day.
Rather than shrinking they could/should have opened more long haul routes to key destinations, forge a more functioning partnership with LH (and the LH group in the broader sense, including SN in Brussels), and create some meaningful feed to their long-haul network from some major European gateways and niche business markets. Manchester could have been the perfect playground given how BA have all but divested from the airport....



I agree, BMI had the potential to develop a real network out of Manchester using BMI, BMI Regional and BMIbaby. Back in the day they leased 752s from Icelandair. They used these on MAN-IAD and MAN-ORD. I'm sure that if a UA joint venture materialised they could at least get a BMI A332 or UA B763. Using BMI Regionals ERJs could have connected regional markets to supply the feed and used BMIbaby to connect leisure markets.

If BMI were still around then the A321neoLR would be a match made in heaven! MAN-North America, LHR-Central Asia, LHR-Africa.
 
redroo
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:45 am

BMI became obsessed with opening up LHR and using their sizeable slot holding to fly to the USA. Where they should have been focused was on Manchester.

But they went downhill very quickly. Baby was silly. They killed MME. They downsized aircraft and made flights more expensive. They got into mid haul. They were all over the place in the end.

Sad.
 
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Polot
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:01 pm

Themotionman wrote:
oldannyboy wrote:
Hindsight is a great thing...
So, well...yes, I suppose... had they defined a clear, precise, well-focused strategy they might have survived to be what was for a long time defined "second force flag carrier", a bit like BCal were back in the day.
Rather than shrinking they could/should have opened more long haul routes to key destinations, forge a more functioning partnership with LH (and the LH group in the broader sense, including SN in Brussels), and create some meaningful feed to their long-haul network from some major European gateways and niche business markets. Manchester could have been the perfect playground given how BA have all but divested from the airport....



I agree, BMI had the potential to develop a real network out of Manchester using BMI, BMI Regional and BMIbaby. Back in the day they leased 752s from Icelandair. They used these on MAN-IAD and MAN-ORD. I'm sure that if a UA joint venture materialised they could at least get a BMI A332 or UA B763.


IIRC BMI used the A332s on those routes but switched them to 757s when they needed the A332’s range for new routes opened elsewhere and didn’t want to/couldn’t get more A332s. It was quite a product downgrade and also turned off many of BMI’s loyalists on those routes.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:15 pm

Let's not forget that BMI still lives on in the form of BMI Regional's modest fleet of Embraer 145/135 jets. Same name and livery as before. Perhaps the phoenix will rise again some day...? ;-)
 
Arion640
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:28 pm

JannEejit wrote:
Let's not forget that BMI still lives on in the form of BMI Regional's modest fleet of Embraer 145/135 jets. Same name and livery as before. Perhaps the phoenix will rise again some day...? ;-)


I think probably not. BMI regional have carved out a niche for themselves being a mainly business travel airline. They are at the top end of the spectrum at Bristol, and I believe now fly something like derry to stansted.
319 320 321 346 388 733 752 753 763 772 77E 773 77W 788 E195 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:18 pm

Perhaps not but also why not ? They've recently merged into the same holding group as Loganair, in fact Loganair's INV-MAN route is currently operated on BMI-R Embraer's. Who's to say where that might lead in the future, especially if Flybe's trading results are as poor as people suggest. Flybe itself started as a tiny enterprise in the shape of Jersey European.
 
NichCage
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:21 pm

Why did BMI Regional survive? I assume it was sold off and bought by a private buyer.

Interesting to note that LHR was also a star hub when BMI was operating.
 
RobertPhoenix
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:00 pm

I feel sad at any mention of British Midland. Cooked breakfast, and coffee afterwards, all in a 45 minute flight. Drink before dinner, dinner, and drink or coffee afterwards. How could it get any better. Flight attendants pushing carts down the aisle when it still seems the aircraft is going up at 15 degrees.
 
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Channex757
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:09 pm

NichCage wrote:
Why did BMI Regional survive? I assume it was sold off and bought by a private buyer.

Interesting to note that LHR was also a star hub when BMI was operating.

Owned today by Airline Investments, together with fellow Scottish airline Loganair.

It's like British Regional Airlines all over again...
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:42 pm

NichCage wrote:
Why did BMI Regional survive? I assume it was sold off and bought by a private buyer.

Interesting to note that LHR was also a star hub when BMI was operating.


It was offered as a separate 'lot' in the Lufthansa sell off and effectively returned to it's previous owner Business Air of Aberdeen. As said, now part of a wider group incorporating Loganair which itself absorbed Suckling from the Stagecoach Group. So as I've suggested earlier, possibly something to keep an eye on in terms of longer term expansion. Once the Flybe/Eastern versus Loganair debacle goes away it will be interesting to see where the group goes next.
 
Andy33
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:35 am

JannEejit wrote:
NichCage wrote:
Why did BMI Regional survive? I assume it was sold off and bought by a private buyer.

Interesting to note that LHR was also a star hub when BMI was operating.


It was offered as a separate 'lot' in the Lufthansa sell off and effectively returned to it's previous owner Business Air of Aberdeen. As said, now part of a wider group incorporating Loganair which itself absorbed Suckling from the Stagecoach Group. So as I've suggested earlier, possibly something to keep an eye on in terms of longer term expansion. Once the Flybe/Eastern versus Loganair debacle goes away it will be interesting to see where the group goes next.


Not quite. BMI as an entity, including the subsidiaries,was sold by Lufthansa to IAG. Mainline was then integrated into BA's Heathrow operation. The two subsidiaries that had their own AOCs were put up for sale by IAG. Regional found a buyer, its own management. bmiBaby was unwanted by anyone, and was closed down. Lufthansa had to reduce the purchase price that IAG paid by the cost of closing WW (bmiBaby).
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:53 am

VS11 wrote:
The fate of bmi was sealed in 1999 when LH bought a stake in bmi. As part of that transaction, Michael Bishop had an option to force LH to buy the rest of bmi for £400m. After playing with the airline unsuccessfully for 10 years, he exercised his option and cashed out leaving LH with a high bill for a bankrupt business.


There you go. As we've seen recently with Monarch, these airlines (when privately owned) become the play-things of their owners. They exist only to advance their own agendas and games. They plan it all out with escape routes if they need them.
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:55 am

redroo wrote:
BMI became obsessed with opening up LHR and using their sizeable slot holding to fly to the USA. Where they should have been focused was on Manchester.

But they went downhill very quickly. Baby was silly. They killed MME. They downsized aircraft and made flights more expensive. They got into mid haul. They were all over the place in the end.

Sad.


Definitely. I took a lot of flights with them. They were always cheap and always full. But they essentially served routes that bmi should have been serving. If they saw the way the way the wind was blowing, they would have done a Jet2 and built a scheduled and holiday business.
 
Arion640
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:24 am

RobertPhoenix wrote:
I feel sad at any mention of British Midland. Cooked breakfast, and coffee afterwards, all in a 45 minute flight. Drink before dinner, dinner, and drink or coffee afterwards. How could it get any better. Flight attendants pushing carts down the aisle when it still seems the aircraft is going up at 15 degrees.


In 1995 probably. I'm sure torwards the end of there days they went Buy on Board.

Ironiclly, I found out the news of bmi being purchased by Lufthansa group while onboard a bmibaby aircraft.
319 320 321 346 388 733 752 753 763 772 77E 773 77W 788 E195 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75
 
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flyingphil
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:25 am

BMI Baby was one of the stupidest names for an airline ever!
I doubt if many people got the 'joke' -assume it was a pun on the song 'Be My Baby' by the Ronettes.

Another airline that lost its way, not sure if it was long haul, short haul or low cost.. its main asset was its landing slots at LHR.

Flew with them a few times, including an Embraer 135 from Edinburgh to Heathrow.. cant imagine that was a profitable flight.
 
Themotionman
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:47 am

flyingphil wrote:

Flew with them a few times, including an Embraer 135 from Edinburgh to Heathrow.. cant imagine that was a profitable flight.


Definitely not from LHR on an ERJ135
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:09 am

Andy33 wrote:
JannEejit wrote:
NichCage wrote:
Why did BMI Regional survive? I assume it was sold off and bought by a private buyer.

Interesting to note that LHR was also a star hub when BMI was operating.


It was offered as a separate 'lot' in the Lufthansa sell off and effectively returned to it's previous owner Business Air of Aberdeen. As said, now part of a wider group incorporating Loganair which itself absorbed Suckling from the Stagecoach Group. So as I've suggested earlier, possibly something to keep an eye on in terms of longer term expansion. Once the Flybe/Eastern versus Loganair debacle goes away it will be interesting to see where the group goes next.


Not quite. BMI as an entity, including the subsidiaries,was sold by Lufthansa to IAG. Mainline was then integrated into BA's Heathrow operation. The two subsidiaries that had their own AOCs were put up for sale by IAG. Regional found a buyer, its own management. bmiBaby was unwanted by anyone, and was closed down. Lufthansa had to reduce the purchase price that IAG paid by the cost of closing WW (bmiBaby).


Ah yes, that was it. Thanks !
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:25 am

flyingphil wrote:
BMI Baby was one of the stupidest names for an airline ever!
I doubt if many people got the 'joke' -assume it was a pun on the song 'Be My Baby' by the Ronettes.

Another airline that lost its way, not sure if it was long haul, short haul or low cost.. its main asset was its landing slots at LHR.

Flew with them a few times, including an Embraer 135 from Edinburgh to Heathrow.. cant imagine that was a profitable flight.


Whilst the Ronettes song was no doubt part of the pun, and an obvious one too, I took the name more as referring to the airline being the 'baby' of the bigger parent of the group. As for those Embraer's I thought they only flew for Regional ? Mainline was all Airbus to Heathrow at the end, whilst 'Baby' utilised only 737's. I flew on those ERJ's on routes from Glasgow to Manchester and Copenhagen as well as 737/A320 on the Heathrow service several times.

I recall once being given a free bag full of wine & and spirits miniatures from a hostess by virtue of the fact I was travelling with Sky Sports presenter/pundit combo, Jim White and Charlie Nicholas after a live football match transmission in London. Maybe that was why the finances ended up so bad ! ;-)
 
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OA260
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:36 am

They had LHR tunnel vision. They shut down a decent TATL operation ex MAN. They risked routes such as Mumbai ex LHR. Flights to places with high risk that were subject to political instability. That coupled with a European product that they chopped and changed as well as chopping and changing routes. They were just confused and in turn that confused their customer base ( me included ) . With proper management and more realistic goals they would still be around today. Sad as they were the decent brand.
 
skipness1E
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:15 am

BMI DID open a long haul operation out of MAN.
The new A332s ordered for LHR were redeployed to MAN when Open Skies was delayed. They opened up MAN-IAD and MAN-ORD in partenership with United with new metal and quickly dug deeply into American's market share. They also opened up long haul leisure with MAN-BGI/UVF/ANU routes as well as opening MAN-LAS. For one summer they flew MAN-YYZ on behalf of Air Canada. So they not only ran the numbers, they ran the routes, but their heart wasn't in it. MAN was a Plan B when LHR fell through and the A332s were slowly redeployed to LHR into new markets, first LHR-BOM and later JED and RUH. This left MAN with a leased B757 covering IAD and then latterly a draw down.
It's not like they didn't try. But the ROI wasn't there at MAN, or if it was, they took the view that it could be higher at LHR, of course by this point, no one knew what BMI were in the London market, they were trying to be everything to everyone.
 
skipness1E
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:15 am

Themotionman wrote:
flyingphil wrote:

Flew with them a few times, including an Embraer 135 from Edinburgh to Heathrow.. cant imagine that was a profitable flight.


Definitely not from LHR on an ERJ135


Flew LHR-MAN on an ERJ-135 a couple of times, am sure they would have done EDI too.
 
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OA260
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:51 am

skipness1E wrote:
BMI DID open a long haul operation out of MAN.
The new A332s ordered for LHR were redeployed to MAN when Open Skies was delayed. They opened up MAN-IAD and MAN-ORD in partenership .


Indeed I flew it a number of times MAN-ORD MAN-IAD but despite it actually working they ditched it and just wanted LHR. Such a shame.
 
Bhoy
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:28 pm

Themotionman wrote:
flyingphil wrote:

Flew with them a few times, including an Embraer 135 from Edinburgh to Heathrow.. cant imagine that was a profitable flight.


Definitely not from LHR on an ERJ135

I flew GLA-LHR on an ERJ145 twice, both on Sunday afternoons. The midweek flights on the route I took were always 319/320s, but come the weekend, the Airbus fleet was redeployed for charter flights to Spain, and the regional Embraers were drafted in.

Is there any wonder they (i.e. LH) thought they were losing cash on the Glasgow route, which had been the original Diamond service flagship route, with flight numbers bd1-bd12?
 
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flyingphil
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:55 pm

Sorry -yep it was an Embraer ERJ145 from Edinburgh into Heathrow and on a Sunday afternoon.. I recall there was no airbridge at LHR, probably too small for one and we all got soaked walking across the tarmac in the rain...
I recall someone said they had to use the slots at LHR or they would lose them..

Good to see that BMI Regional are surviving and have found thier niche in the market.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:54 pm

The problem with BD trying to build a hub at MAN was that at the time they could have (before Open Skies) BA still had a decent sized regional operation at MAN. Trying to build MAN on O&D with their hub at LHR would have been slightly odd.

The failure of VS and BD to ever do a deal was the killer. But Sir Richard Branson and Lord Glendonbrook (Sir Michael Bishop) could never agree terms. I'd imagine they were quite different characters. But if they had agreed something back in the 1990s that would have been an interesting challenger to BA with VS having its own shorthaul feeder airline at LHR.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
KCaviator
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:56 pm

BMI is still alive with service from Delta and American, as well as Allegiant. 8-)
 
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Channex757
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:01 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
The problem with BD trying to build a hub at MAN was that at the time they could have (before Open Skies) BA still had a decent sized regional operation at MAN. Trying to build MAN on O&D with their hub at LHR would have been slightly odd.

The failure of VS and BD to ever do a deal was the killer. But Sir Richard Branson and Lord Glendonbrook (Sir Michael Bishop) could never agree terms. I'd imagine they were quite different characters. But if they had agreed something back in the 1990s that would have been an interesting challenger to BA with VS having its own shorthaul feeder airline at LHR.

Bishop would have shut BMI down before he sold it to Virgin. On a number of occasions Branson shafted BMI and Bishop despised the man after that. No way would he have countenanced a sale to him.

Bishop's problem was that he had built a slot portfolio at LHR worth (estimated) a billion. He was desperate to use that for transatlantics and high value routes elsewhere, which was what the four A330s were acquired for. He took three and the fourth went to Emirates.

BMI was basically worth its slots at LHR and Bishop wanted to maximise that. He saw the A330s as being better used at LHR, increasing the value of the airline. The shorthaul network he had at LHR would have filled the planes. The Lufthansa thing was that LH gave him a "put" option to sell his shares to them at a pre-agreed price if he wanted to at a later date. That way LH first got into BD and acquired the stake. LH later acquired a shareholding that SAS owned as well.
 
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Channex757
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:07 pm

Here's a thought.

BMI did indeed start building a decent longhaul operation out of MAN. Some routes worked, others were not so good. However, look at MAN today and the success of MT and VS in particular.

BMI were just a little ahead of their time. If one aircraft had been repurposed from IAD and moved to MCO for instance, the A330s would have been busy with good loads. ORD certainly did well.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:30 pm

Bhoy wrote:
.

Is there any wonder they (i.e. LH) thought they were losing cash on the Glasgow route, which had been the original Diamond service flagship route, with flight numbers bd1-bd12?


BA really had it in for British Midland too when they first launched the Diamond Service from GLA. You might recall the triple Concorde 'stunt' in 1983 and I believe putting the then new 757 on the Shuttle service was also part of the spoiler campaign.
 
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Slash787
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:35 am

redroo wrote:
BMI became obsessed with opening up LHR and using their sizeable slot holding to fly to the USA. Where they should have been focused was on Manchester.

But they went downhill very quickly. Baby was silly. They killed MME. They downsized aircraft and made flights more expensive. They got into mid haul. They were all over the place in the end.

Sad.


These are exactly my thoughts
 
bunumuring
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:07 pm

Hey guys,
I flew BMI only once, Glasgow to Heathrow on an A320. Early evening flight from memory. I remember commenting to other avgeeks when I returned to Australia that the service on the flight somehow reminded me of Ansett....
Cheers,
Bunumuring
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
BrianDromey
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:31 pm

So could bmi have survived? I think the group could have, but Sir Bishop's put option forced LH into a corner, one which they weren't prepared to plough more money into. The took as many LHR slots as they could and jettisoned the rest. By the end I recall LH had sunk about €1 billion into bmi over the years.

The service, both on the ground and in the air was fantastic. The diamond club FFP was exceptionally generous. In the early 2000s bmi made sense and appeared to offer a coherent product. bmi offered frequent flights, competitive fares and great service to DUB, UK domestic and key EU cities. Partnerships with SAS, LH and the rest of the Star Alliance filled in a lot of the gaps. The acquisition of B|MED brought some interesting niche routes to the Middle East.

By the end the domestic flight schedule had been cut drastically, the service was BoB (confusingly including DUB and HAM, but not other EU routes). The "Arab Spring" had decimated bmi's future bookings and schedule, rumour has it that mother LH demanded the MAN routes end as"we are not a leisure airline" and revenue from Cargo was ignored in the calculations.

bmibaby was chronically starved of investment and allowed easyJet, Jet2 and FR to undermine it at MAN, BHX and EMA. Interestingly 10 years ago bmi was doing many things which the LH group, Thomas Cook and IAG are only now developing, particularly the bmi baby operation and the p2p long-haul from Manchester. At the time many said bmi was mad, with retrospectacles perhaps not.
 
DBCooper
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:06 pm

I used to fly LHRMME a lot. At one point, there were 5 roundtrips on business days!

Viscounts
DC-9s (ex-TWA -15s as well as DC-9-30s)
737s
F70s

Now there is nothing.

Truly bummed...and I miss BD's great service on this short-haul, domestic route.


-DBC
 
skipness1E
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:12 pm

British Midland beat BA on service, that was their USP. Nowadays not enough % of the overall market will pay for frills. Even at the end, the question was, “What was the actual point of FR!”
 
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LuxuryTravelled
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:31 am

bmi had some good ideas, although could have a been a little ahead of the game. The Manchester base is basically what Thomas Cook has become today, and what it really should have been (although they are still missing a lie-flat business class). bmi had a similar issue to VS about LHE, they were obsessed about it as being the key to the network. It would have been a good brand though to do 'Premium Leisure' as we have seen BA do recently at Heathrow - the likes of Almeria, Murcia, Palma, Olbia, Venice, Naples - even Las Palmas and Tenerife in the winter.
 
anstar
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:09 am

mrbonfire wrote:
VS11 wrote:
There you go. As we've seen recently with Monarch, these airlines (when privately owned) become the play-things of their owners. They exist only to advance their own agendas and games. They plan it all out with escape routes if they need them.


Next up will be VS I believe. They've been struggling since Bermuda 2 was scrapped. If you add up the losses since 2008 it wipes out any profit they've made since launch. The are on track for a 90m loss this year and Branson has just sold out 31% to AFKL leaving him with just a 19% shareholding.
 
shankly
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:25 am

DBCooper wrote:
I used to fly LHRMME a lot. At one point, there were 5 roundtrips on business days!

Viscounts
DC-9s (ex-TWA -15s as well as DC-9-30s)
737s
F70s

Now there is nothing.

Truly bummed...and I miss BD's great service on this short-haul, domestic route.


-DBC

Similarly in late 90's/early 2000's I used to be a regular on LHR-LBA, F100's, 733's, 735's, A320 and even an A321 once. None ever with the same colour scheme!

I don't think this airline ever really knew what and who it was once the original British Midland identity was dropped.
L1011 - P F M
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:30 pm

anstar wrote:
mrbonfire wrote:
VS11 wrote:
There you go. As we've seen recently with Monarch, these airlines (

Next up will be VS I believe. They've been struggling since Bermuda 2 was scrapped. If you add up the losses since 2008 it wipes out any profit they've made since launch. The are on track for a 90m loss this year and Branson has just sold out 31% to AFKL leaving him with just a 19% shareholding.


Agree. Nice slot portfolio for delta there.
 
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Aisak
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Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:06 pm

Channex757 wrote:
FlyCaledonian wrote:
The problem with BD trying to build a hub at MAN was that at the time they could have (before Open Skies) BA still had a decent sized regional operation at MAN. Trying to build MAN on O&D with their hub at LHR would have been slightly odd.

The failure of VS and BD to ever do a deal was the killer.


Bishop would have shut BMI down before he sold it to Virgin.

That was really the key there. Sad.
With Bermuda II in place bmi was prevented to fly to the US from LHR. But it is not they were a great player in the long-haul market were they?. Who was? Virgin, the just long-haul airline also based at LHR and with rights to the US.
Continental thought they couldn't access the prime UK airport and what they did? They literally flooded the UK with connections to EWR using any 757-capable airport in the regions. Why BD didn't try the same out of MAN and flood the East Coast.... It could have worked with bmi regional feed... but we'll never know

BrianDromey wrote:
The acquisition of B|MED brought some interesting niche routes to the Middle East.

That was a great operation for all three actors: BA, bmed and bmi. bmi got new destinations thanks to an A320/A321 airline which could be integrated really well. bmed could offset the the cost of the fee paid to BA for the franchise rights. And BA got to keep (thru c/s) access to those markets.

BrianDromey wrote:
So could bmi have survived? I think the group could have, but Sir Bishop's put option forced LH into a corner, one which they weren't prepared to plough more money into. The took as many LHR slots as they could and jettisoned the rest. By the end I recall LH had sunk about €1 billion into bmi over the years.

Well, LH also got some good slots from BMI at LHR. They got all the suitable slots to support a hi-perf operation at LHR for LH, 4U, OS, LX and SN who previously only had saturday service into LHR. When all LH Group was well serviced of prime time slots, the the rest was left for the only one that could find good use for the rest: BA.
If the €1b or the price finally paid by BA was worth the slots, that I don't know....

BrianDromey wrote:
bmibaby was chronically starved of investment

I think baby was just set-up as a way to corner the 737 fleet which didn't match with the commonality of mainline. It operated "as is", all the money they could bring in, welcome it was...
 
User avatar
Aisak
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:56 pm

Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:29 pm

anstar wrote:
Next up will be VS I believe. They've been struggling since Bermuda 2 was scrapped. If you add up the losses since 2008 it wipes out any profit they've made since launch. The are on track for a 90m loss this year and Branson has just sold out 31% to AFKL leaving him with just a 19% shareholding.


Hopefully that won't be the case with VS. They are effectively operating as Delta UK although Branson keeps 19% ownership and effective control on the airline to keep the British flag on the fuselage.
If any, the risk is if a country (other than USA or EU-members) challenge the British nationality of Virgin Atlantic, they could find trouble flying to places such as Mexico, Cuba, India, China, Nigeria... if those countries don't recognize VS being British an thus not covered in the bilateral agreements.
Hopefully there's a plan B called Virgin Atlantic International Limited (VAIL) which is a subsidiary they could start using overnight for those places.

Now they are in a better position than they were in 2008 when open skies came into effect.

BMI was strugling to find its position in 2008. Wanted LHR to open for US, when they were in no shape to start ops.
 
Marksw76
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:25 pm

As a side note. Wasn't BD one of the very few UK airlines to operate the DC9?

I remember these being on regular domestic routes in the 1990s. Quite old birds I seem to remember, even then.
 
anstar
Posts: 2995
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

Re: Could BMI have survived?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:24 pm

Aisak wrote:
anstar wrote:
Next up will be VS I believe. They've been struggling since Bermuda 2 was scrapped. If you add up the losses since 2008 it wipes out any profit they've made since launch. The are on track for a 90m loss this year and Branson has just sold out 31% to AFKL leaving him with just a 19% shareholding.


Hopefully that won't be the case with VS. They are effectively operating as Delta UK although Branson keeps 19% ownership and effective control on the airline to keep the British flag on the fuselage.
If any, the risk is if a country (other than USA or EU-members) challenge the British nationality of Virgin Atlantic, they could find trouble flying to places such as Mexico, Cuba, India, China, Nigeria... if those countries don't recognize VS being British an thus not covered in the bilateral agreements.
Hopefully there's a plan B called Virgin Atlantic International Limited (VAIL) which is a subsidiary they could start using overnight for those places.

Now they are in a better position than they were in 2008 when open skies came into effect.

BMI was strugling to find its position in 2008. Wanted LHR to open for US, when they were in no shape to start ops.


They could also sell off the Virgin Holidays business and highly competitive (with Norwegian and BA densification) LGW routes. End their rest of world from LHR and then just focus on the USA. Likewise if things go south - now AFKL and DL will have control they could just transfer the US operations at LHR to DL.
 
Arion640
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Could BMI have survived?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:18 am

JannEejit wrote:
Bhoy wrote:
.

Is there any wonder they (i.e. LH) thought they were losing cash on the Glasgow route, which had been the original Diamond service flagship route, with flight numbers bd1-bd12?


BA really had it in for British Midland too when they first launched the Diamond Service from GLA. You might recall the triple Concorde 'stunt' in 1983 and I believe putting the then new 757 on the Shuttle service was also part of the spoiler campaign.


Triple Concorde stunt? Haven't heard that one before.

If BD and VS tied up sooner BA wouldn't be the size it is today.

There was also talk for a long while about a bmibaby german wings merger, another one was bmibaby was going to aquire a loaf of A319's. Sad thing is pre 2008 bmibaby was quite profitable.
319 320 321 346 388 733 752 753 763 772 77E 773 77W 788 E195 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75
 
seat1a
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:52 pm

Re: Could BMI have survived?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:25 am

Would the BMED routes work today if BMI continued, say as a 'Mint' style A321 product? I wonder if BMI would have worked with a strong network from LHR to Central Asia and the Middle East, coupled with routes to key European business markets, and EDI, GLA, and DUB? Just some thoughts.
 
Themotionman
Topic Author
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Could BMI have survived?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:02 am

seat1a wrote:
Would the BMED routes work today if BMI continued, say as a 'Mint' style A321 product? I wonder if BMI would have worked with a strong network from LHR to Central Asia and the Middle East, coupled with routes to key European business markets, and EDI, GLA, and DUB? Just some thoughts.


The benefit of the Central Asia flights was that they didn't demand a prime-time slot at LHR. They could arrive late at night and leave early morning and would still be full. You couldn't do that with DUB, EDI, AMS etc...
 
User avatar
JannEejit
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: Could BMI have survived?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:27 am

Arion640 wrote:
Triple Concorde stunt? Haven't heard that one before.


On 30th August 1983, BA publicised the relaunch of the GLA-LHR Super Shuttle, (which that year had largely switched from Trident to 757) service by employing three Concorde's on the route, in a move widely seen at the time as 'one in the eye' for British Midland who were running the rival Diamond service on the same route with DC-9's.

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