New BMI owners, IAG, have announced that bmi baby will be grounded from September. They completed the purchase of IAG last month and had always maintained that BMI’s two subsidiaries, bmi Regional and bmi baby, were not in their future plans. Although they have made progress looking for buyers for bmi Regional, the same could not be said for bmi baby. Management started consultation with 500 staff over possible job losses yesterday.
bye bye baby
bmi baby will stop operations from Belfast City Airport and some routes from East Midlands and Birmingam Airports from June. Interim managing director for BMI, Peter Simpson, said: "We recognise that these are unsettling times for bmi baby employees, who have worked tirelessly during a long period of uncertainty.”
"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."
Passengers affected are entitled a full refund if they are not able to make alternative arrangements with bmi baby. And those who booked a package holiday should contact their travel agent – holiday packages should be protected under the ATOL scheme but passengers should check this with their travel agent.
Here’s a quick run down of how it will affect flights…
From 11 June the following bmi baby routes will no longer operate:
All routes to and from Belfast. This, however, will not affect the route from Belfast to London Heathrow, which is served by bmi’s mainline services.
Routes from East Midlands to Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Nice, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newquay
Routes from Birmingham to Knock and Amsterdam
bmi baby will continue to serve destinations in Spain and Portugal from both East Midlands and Birmingham. You can even still buy tickets for flights to and from these destinations until 9 September.
Grounded in September
ALL bmi baby flights will cease to operate from 10 September.
Ryanair to the rescue?
Ryanair rescue mission
Ryanair have said that they would be offering “rescue fares” from £29.99 one way to corresponding destinations. HOWEVER, following a dispute with Belfast City Airport in 2010, fights leave to/from Derry, Dublin or East Midlands... and NOT Belfast. You can book these flights with Ryanair until 20 May.
easyJet and Jet2 both fly to similar destinations from Belfast International Airport and are worth a look if you'd rather travel from Belfast.
Another airline, Monarch, have also said that they will step in to cover routes from East Midlands and Birmingham. They are due to open a new base at East Midlands later on in the year and begin flights to popular destinations including Malaga, Alicante, Palma and Faro. Monarch will also be adding more flights from Birmingham to Malaga, Alicante, Faro, Rome and Palma as well as start flights to Barcelona.
Flybe are also looking to accommodate some of these routes.
If you have a flight that may be affected, contact bmi baby on 0844 245 0055 and read more from them here.
Don't forget to check our great prices on car hire if you're planning a holiday.
Read previous articles on the fate of bmi baby in the following:
BMI joins British Airways but it looks like bye bye baby
bmi baby thrown out with bath water