BMI is cancelling some of its services between Scotland and London in the period just before and after the New Year break, it has emerged. The airline, previously known as British Midland, has reassured passengers that it has no intention of permanently cutting the route.
A spokesman said that the services were so empty that the firm had no choice but to reduce flights.
BMI has recently cut some transatlantic routes and many of its onboard frills.
Chief executive Nigel Turner told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that the decision on the Scottish routes was prompted by a low number of seasonal passengers.
Mr Turner said: "With it being the holiday season we do very closely examine the loads and if there is a specific flight, or one or two specific flights, where demand is very low then we will cancel those.
"BMI operates day-to-day from Edinburgh and Glasgow into London Heathrow, we've done so for the last 30 years and will continue to do so for the next 30 years."
Flights being cut on the Glasgow and Edinburgh routes to London Heathrow include services due to fly between 31 December and 4 January.
It is not unusual to cut a couple of frequencies late on 31 December and early on 1 January. However, around that time, travel is usually at a peak - and especially so on routes like Edinburgh where the destination sees an influx of tourists for new year.
The other thread previously running about bmi's appallingly poor performance seems to have disappeared some time ago. However, this is just another sign that passengers have deserted bmi in significant numbers and that other airlines - including BA - are benefitting from some increase in marketshare.
bmi always trim back services at Xmas / New Year. Nothing startling there, we like the chance to go on stby for a couple of weeks and have a breather. Same for many other airlines.
The routes to Scotland, especially those from bases other than LHR, are generally pitched at business passengers, albeit without business service in many cases. The fares reflect this. I do not think the airline would attract many New Years revellers at the fares charged. No sleep lost.
The Luton pipe-dream has been canned as the aircraft is required elsewhere. It was never going to happen...
If that is indeed the case, it is a surprising admission by bmi that they just cannot attract the leisure market. I recall flying EDI-LHR a few years ago on 02Jan on a BA 767-300 because demand merited the upgrade from the 757. If bmi is cancelling flights at the same time and parking the aircraft, heaven help them. No other bugger will.
i agree with the canx of certain flights, why run a high freq of flights with low pax on certain flights??? - just change them to the later or earlier flight. The good thing about doing this, and in particular bmi's case was that the flights were not canx on the day,it was pre done, which meant all pax would have been aware!
fao flyer55 - you sure it wasnt a baby a/c in lgw the other day?? we now operate a lgw-mme following pulling out of the lgw base some time ago.
bmi have secured a weekend charter contract for a series of Winter charters from London Gatwick. Because Christmas falls over a weekend, LGW-GVA will commence operations on Saturday 24th December, however LGW-BCN initially operates on a Monday but switches to a Sunday operation from 8th January 2006.
I know this type of thread is supposed to be for Airport's but I'm doing one for my favourite Airline. What's the chances they'll put 2005 behind them and turn things around in 2006?
I would guess they are a mile away from getting it right. I'm a BMi Diamond Club Gold Card Holder but have not booked anything with them for quite a while and am unlikely to in the immediate future. Why? 1. I have no idea what they stand for anymore - high cost BA look alike or low cost pretender to the EasyJet crown? - probably neither. The Libdems of the airline world. 2. Long haul is a mess. Ws using them from Man - an excelllent product but have heard so much nonsense about them pulling out/not pulling out (including plenty on this rumour network), I'm much more likely to book on an airline that's in it 'for the long haul'. There is no way I will book a flight that ultimately gets pulled and I get an offer of a shuttle down to LHR to connect with a UA flight. This is missing the point -ie avoid LHR at all cost. 3. Finally - I just want them to be a viable alternative to BA so badly, but they've let me down by failing.