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BMI REGIONAL-2

Old 28th Mar 2012, 06:47
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BMI REGIONAL-2

There's a few of us mainly interested in what's going down at BMIR. This is for us, let's hope the mods don't decide to merge us again!

So, any news? anyone?
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 09:11
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Nope! Total vacuum of information. In my opinion we'll head into IAG, subject to EU approval, then who knows...

The management are still putting a granite spin on things. Unsurprising really as it would keep them in abz. Whether there's any substance to that I'm doubtful.
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Old 30th Mar 2012, 10:44
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from BBC Scotland Business Editor today

Granite Air

"But as I've reported before, there have been hopes of, and advanced talks around a Scottish-based buy-out of BMI Regional.

It's the division of the airline based in Aberdeen, which used to be Business Air, and which flies 15 commuter jets between smaller airports in the UK and on the continent.

Under the codename Granite, there has been a prolonged effort both to raise the 20m to 25m necessary to buy BMI Regional from Lufthansa before the 31 March deadline set for the IAG deal, and to persuade Lufthansa to part with it.

But the money's not there. And in the absence of a deal, the division, with more than 300 jobs, most of them in Aberdeen, will become part of IAG.

The giant air group knew there was interest from a Scottish consortium in buying Regional, but it has said nothing about its intentions for it if it was handed over with the mainstream part of BMI.

It's still not saying, but there has to be a concern about both that business and the routes it operates, as IAG certainly doesn't see its future as operating commuter jets between smaller cities."

The silence has been deafening. I wish the news was better & that the above is incorrect. Hopefully there can yet be a rabbit pulled out of the hat, but banks & institutions are reluctant to lend to anyone in these times.

It would be sad at a time when business appears to be on the up again at Aberdeen, we could lose our based airline.
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Old 30th Mar 2012, 11:40
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I've also heard the same as above.

No money available, Regional to stay with the IAG deal and possibly dumped on Flybe to do with it what they will.

Baby = Air Contractors.

IAG / Mainline deal to be approved.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 12:09
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Posted this elsewhere, thought it might be good post here as well in case anyone has any further intel (Unlikely I know, but maybe someone has spoken to the cleaners?).

Regional & Baby to be brought into the bigger IAG deal (assume the Baby discount applies and that Regional is a freebie), neither to be integrated into BA at all, and then sold off or shut down. I guess that the unions and management will start the 90 day consultation period very soon after the 20th of April.

Anyone know if Granite are still looking to buy?
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 13:40
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I think there is, perhaps, an opportunity for Regional to work with the new slots for EDI and ABZ to LHR under the VS banner, they will need to lease some larger equipment in the short-term, though.
That, or constructing a deal with IAG that is similar to Sun-Air, basically franchise model.
A third, extremely slim possibility, is that Regional would be integrated with city flyer, somehow. I don't think the ERJ 135/145s would remain for long, but cityFlyer has a number of ERJ-190 options it could exercise, if so desired.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 13:56
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Re: BMIR into CFE, talking last week to the powers at the towers aka. Didsbury, BaCon was off loaded to BE for a reason and there is no desire to start regional flying again, so I very much doubt that there is a plan to incorporate BMIr into CityFlyer.
Just don't want people to get hopes up for something that was dreamt up on this forum.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 13:57
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Originally Posted by brian_dromey View Post
I think there is, perhaps, an opportunity for Regional to work with the new slots for EDI and ABZ to LHR under the VS banner, they will need to lease some larger equipment in the short-term, though.
But what benefits does Regional bring to this scheme compared with any other operator which already has larger aircraft (let's say 737/A320) on its AOC? Regional doesn't have the right aircraft or crews, and the brand is irrelevant because it'd be Virgin.

or constructing a deal with IAG that is similar to Sun-Air, basically franchise model.
I agree that a franchise model goes a long way to solving branding issues. But it's not a panacea - you still need a workable and defensible network, as well as a motivation for the franchisor to want to be involved. It would not surprise me if there has been some element of BA cooperation (maybe not all the way to franchise) envisaged in the Granite deal - but if that can't get off the ground, why would a pure franchise proposal work, and why would BA be interested given their withdrawal from the regions?

I don't think the ERJ 135/145s would remain for long, but cityFlyer has a number of ERJ-190 options it could exercise, if so desired.
But for what? If Regional were integrated into CityFlyer, it seems fair to assume that they would no longer be operating their existing hub-feeder routes for Lufthansa. So what is left that CityFlyer would want to pick up with larger aircraft? (Alternatively: if they got the fleet for free, could CityFlyer do something else out of LCY with the E135s?)

Sorry, Brian, I don't mean to shoot you down, and I (like you) am really trying to see a good solution for the current situation - I'm just (personally) not convinced that any of the above are particularly robust alternatives. I hope that I am proven wrong.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 14:10
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I agree, I don't think any of them are particularly enticing for an prospective owner. My feeling is that there may be an opportunity for either WW or Regional to work with the bearded one to utilise the LHR slots. I agree that it does not fit in with BA's stated model, but it is possible that this may have changed slightly as part of the overall IAG group.

Indeed, it is probably just as easy for VS to wet-lease some narrow bodies from somewhere, but IAG does seem to be throwing down the gauntlet in the media today.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 14:53
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(Alternatively: if they got the fleet for free, could CityFlyer do something else out of LCY with the E135s?
I don't think they have thrust reversers on their aircaft unlike the Luxair ones we used to see, so not much.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 15:05
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Please dont gang up on me guys....i just want to ask...On its own with no alliances etc how viable would bmi regional be as a stand alone airline?
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 15:10
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Please dont gang up on me guys....i just want to ask...On its own with no alliances etc how viable would bmi regional be as a stand alone airline?
No ganging up intended, but I've said this before, and I'll say it again. For a not unreasonable precedent regarding the fate of a small independent airline that devolves from a larger airline and develops its own brand using a fleet of thirsty regional jets, see Duo.

IMHO, not as impossible as some would say, but very very risky.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 16:04
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Ah, Duo. May God bless her and all who sailed in her.

Plus I would add that fuel prices are about twice what they were back in 2004 or so, while average yields have if anything fallen thanks to increased low-cost-carrier penetration, so the scope for profitable flying is even more reduced.

From memory, Duo's breakeven load factor on ~2 hour sectors was about 70% at 100 net yield. I would be utterly astonished if a 50-seater could come anywhere near that breakeven today.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 16:19
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I have a fair number of friends at regional and would hate to see them out of work, but look at the business model.

A small regional jet that is not fuel efficient with regard to pax carried
A route network that has diminished year on year
A reliance on wet lease contracts
A small minded insular management(albeit mostly gone now) that was more interested in maintaining the Aberdeen management than real integration and cost savings that could be realised by closing the ABZ office.

The London city route is a non starter, they tried that from LBA with a wet leased turbo prop because they wouldn't operate the 135 into there. I think they gave that route about 10mins to turn a profit then pulled it.

They pulled out of Paris because mainline pulled out even though loads were good.

I could go on. As for the statement about crews not being suitable, that's rubbish, there are some really good guys there who stayed to be home every night with the family rather than go to bigger companies with airbus or Boeing fleets.

Regional management never really moved on from the high priced business ticket pax in small numbers and the rest of the industry has moved with the market in the real world.

I do hope someone with deep pockets and true vision gets hold of regional and turns it into the regional airline it deserves to be, but if Lufthansa have washed their hands of it, then I think the future is truly bleak.
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Old 2nd Apr 2012, 16:36
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Originally Posted by Deep and fast View Post
As for the statement about crews not being suitable, that's rubbish, there are some really good guys there
Hi D&F, not sure if you are referring to my earlier comment about Regional not having the right aircraft and crews. All I was saying is that the crews are not type rated for the mainline aircraft which would be needed to profitably operate into LHR - not casting any aspersions on their character!
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Old 3rd Apr 2012, 00:16
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EDI/ABZ LHR slots

The only company that could afford to play this game is one that doesn't fly into either ABZ EDI but fly from LHR that will be EK then?
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 12:40
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This from today's Travelmole

Virgin plans first UK domestic operation

Virgin Atlantic is planning to launch its first domestic flights if it wins 12 pairs of Heathrow slots to be relinquished by British Airways' parent IAG following its takeover of bmi.
The airline, which is calling on the European Commission to auction all 12 slots as one complete package, told the Daily Telegraph it would launch domestic flights next summer if it was successful in winning the slots.
Virgin currently holds just 3% of Heathrow's slots, while IAG will hold 51% after the bmi deal completed on April 20.
The auction process is expected to begin in several weeks and Aer Lingus is likely to be among those bidding against Virgin.
I believe that there are now some positive noises coming from the Granite organisation, with visits to the office in ABZ.Is a tie up with VS a possible way forward?
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 15:45
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Could this mean Granite and Virgin both buy together, Bmi Baby and Bmi Regional. Mabey calling the airline Virgin Lite I dont know just an idea mabey.
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 17:32
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Are we talking a Virgin Australia/America style operation - Virgin group holds a % of the airline and leases the Virgin brand to them... As I said the other day, I could see baby involved with this, but Virginbaby isnt going to work - so maybe something plain like Virgin Regional or Virgin Britain?
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 17:38
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Hmmm that is making me wonder toledoashley !
Virgin Britain sounds alright, and was something which i saw you mention the other day ! It could work for good old RB here, his Virgin America and Australia operations are brilliant successes, wonder if Britain would be the same ?
Besides the fact that it is absolutely tiny compared to these land giants aforementioned !
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