Budget carrier BMI Baby to stop flights

Budget airline BMI Baby will stop flying in September with some routes being cancelled as of next month, owner International Airlines Group (IAG) announced on Thursday.

IAG, which acquired the unit when it bought BMI from Lufthansa last month, said it was still open to offers but admitted it was unlikely a buyer would be found, putting around 500 jobs in jeopardy.

BMI's main operations are being integrated into British Airways, another IAG-owned carrier, but the company said BMI Baby would not be part of its plans when it struck last month's deal.

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"BMI Baby has delivered high levels of operational performance and customer service, but has continued to struggle financially, losing more than £100m ($161.8 million) in the last four years," said BMI's interim managing director Peter Simpson in a letter to all staff.

"To help stem losses as quickly as possible, and as a preliminary measure, we will be making reductions to BMI Baby's flying programme from June.

"We sincerely apologise to all customers affected and will be providing full refunds and doing all we can with other airlines to mitigate the impact of these changes," added the message.

Services from its base at East Midlands airport in central England to Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Nice, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newquay, and from Birmingham to Knock and Amsterdam, will cease on June 11.

Under the proposals, no flights will operate from September 10 onwards.

© 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: May 3, 2012