A major shake-up in the regional airline business has been established with bmi regional and Loganair becoming part of a new regional airline group.
The holding company, Airline Investments Limited (AIL), has acquired the shares in bmi regional. Industry veteran Peter Simpson has been named group CEO of the combined businesses.
The AIL Group will boast substantial scale and reach: 46 aircraft, carrying approximately 1.5 million passengers each year, turnover of circa £200m and employing 960 people, flying 47 routes across 10 countries across Europe from Sumburgh in the Shetland Isles to Toulouse in the south of France.
The investors in AIL, successful entrepreneurs Stephen and Peter Bond have a long history in aviation, having previously owned Bond Aviation in the UK and original investors of Alliance Airlines in Australia.
This new structure will cement the position of both bmi regional and Loganair as strong regional players in the UK and European aviation markets. Each carrier will continue to operate as a distinct business and brand. bmi regional already has strong partnerships with Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines and Loganair has long term franchise agreements and code share agreements with Flybe and British Airways respectively. The consolidation of the two sister airlines under one holding company will provide natural efficiencies and economies of scale that will enhance both carriers.
Commenting on the restructure, Simpson said: “The opportunity to run the AIL Group, building on the turnaround programme at bmi regional and the continued success of Loganair is very exciting.
“The AIL Group now has substantial size and reach; each brand has tremendous partnerships in their respective market. The two airlines operate in clear niche markets in vital roles such as feeding traffic to mainline carrier networks like Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and British Airways, with Loganair operating a successful franchise with major regional carrier flybe. The opportunity now is to build on the synergies between the two sister airlines and deliver great benefits to our customers and partners alike.”