Flybmi collapses to Brexit uncertainty and rising fuel costs

Flybmi Embraer ERJ-135ER
Flybmi Embraer ERJ-135ER

In the midst of difficulties including uncertainty by Brexit and recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, flybmi has announced its unavoidable demise.

British Midland Regional Limited, also known as flybmi, manages 17 regional aircraft on routes to 25 European cities. It has codeshare agreements with partners such as Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti. In 2018, the airline carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights.

“With a heavy heart”

According to the airline’s official press release: “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.”

As of 16 February 2019, the airline company no longer operates any flights to and from the UK and within Europe. All flights have been cancelled and customers will need to rebook flights with an alternative airline.

Loganair steps in

Loganair, one of its codeshare partners, has stepped in to secure three key air routes from Aberdeen to Bristol, Oslo and Esbjerg following the closure. It will provide daily weekday rotations between Aberdeen and the city of Esbjerg, Denmark’s fifth largest city. It will also offer six services per week to Norway’s capital on weekdays and Sundays.

“It’s always really sad to see an airline go out of business”

Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s managing director said: “It’s always really sad to see an airline go out of business, and our thoughts are with all those affected – particularly staff members. We’re working on employment opportunities for pilots, cabin crew and engineering support staff to strengthen the Loganair team.”

Earlier this month, German carrier Germania also announced it has terminated all flights and is filing for insolvency, due to the increasing cost of fuel and the current strength of the US dollar.

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