View Full Version : BD Low Cost ex EMA!

10th Jan 2002, 12:36
Just heard on Breakfast on Beeb 1 that the above is to be announced today....any insider info on this?

Kalium Chloride
10th Jan 2002, 12:40
BM has several applications in to serve BSL, BUD, GVA, PRG, ZRH, WAW ex EMA.

Peter Skellan
10th Jan 2002, 12:59
Well actually the story was that BMI would announce the name and details of its new low cost brand next week... <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">

For a large thread on Go, BMI and EMA see:

<a href="http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=017290" target="_blank">http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=017290</a>

I thought a low cost airline needed minimal overheads, usually start with a clean sheet of paper and are run with ruthless cost control. Now unless old Michael Bishop is going to sell The Hall, sack every other manager and renegotiate his operational staffs terms & conditions then I for one will view this announcement as nothing more than a panic response to the arrival of a proper low cost airline.

Or are BMI just planning to paint yet another livery, think of a snazzy web address and take the catering off their aircraft and call it "A new low cost airline"?

Will this purportedly 'new' airline be propped up by its big brother? People accused GO of being BA's spoke in easyJets wheel and thought it unfair. Will they say the same again. I think so - and - with more good reason.

I wonder if BA will do the same thing at Gatwick what with Stelios parking his tanks on their lawn. Standby for the launch of GoII or perhaps 'GO Again' <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

My fervent hope is that BMI do not use this 'new' airline to make Go's new base a financial liability forcing them to close it. If that happened I bet my two front teeth that BMI's 'new' low cost division would be wound up within a month.

Mind you isn't competition great? The Midlands waits years for a low cost airline. Then it get two within a month!


10th Jan 2002, 13:47
bmi British Midland will launch a new low cost no frills operation with a seperate name and corporate ID on the 23rd March. As yet it has no name but expected to be 'christened' next week.
It will be operating 733's from EMA to Barcelona, Faro, Palma, Nice, Alicante and Malaga. Fares will begin at 25 .

Will this operation have any bearing on the future of the Fokker fleet and regionals at EMA?

Doors to Automatic
10th Jan 2002, 13:48
This has just been released:

bmi british midland announces the launch of a new no frills airline

- major European network based at East Midlands Airport -

- services to start 23 March 2002

bmi british midland today announced a major initiative launching a new no frills airline based at East Midlands Airport. The new airline will have a separate name and corporate identity from bmi british midland, which will continue to operate and develop as a full service international scheduled carrier.

The new airline will fly a dedicated fleet of Boeing 737 - 300 aircraft and serve an extensive range of key leisure destinations from East Midlands Airport, including high frequency services to Barcelona, Nice, Palma, Malaga, Faro and Alicante. Services will commence on March 23rd – a week before the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Frequencies and further routes will be announced shortly, together with full details of the new airline’s internet prices, which will start at 25 each way, and details of an exciting introductory offer when flights are open for sale later this month.

The airline, whose name and corporate identity will be announced next week, will have a strong focus on giving passengers value for money. Fares will be highly competitive with additional savings available for tickets booked via the internet.


bmi british midland announces the launch of a new no frills airline
Page 2 of 2. 10 January 2002

Nigel Turner, bmi’s director responsible for the new airline, said:

“bmi is launching this new airline in response to a clear market opportunity and consumer demand. We have been operating from East Midlands Airport for over 35 years and we are delighted to increase our commitment to the Airport and the region through the creation of this new no frills carrier.

“The new airline is an independent and valuable addition to the bmi family and we believe it will have a long and successful future.

“With the launch of this new airline, bmi will have a strong presence in both the no frills and full service airline sectors.”


10th Jan 2002, 14:17
Where are these 737's coming from? Have they pulled capacity elsewhere in the network? I presume they'll be ending existing services from EMA to planned destinations.

Looks like Go has got a few people worried at BMI!!

glider insider
10th Jan 2002, 14:24
unless they start a fresh and start hunting for decent 733's..
if they started transferring aircraft / crew / contracts from BMI mainline they will struggle to get there cost base low enough to make money on the fares they say they will be charging...

a flying date of March seems very soon for a whole new airline to be up and running by.

IMHO, this seems to be a knee jerk reaction and a year down the line they will have lost a lot of money from trying to stop Go rather than concentrating on their core business which is at the higher end of the market...

the midlands is underserved, and passenegrs will want to fly with low cost carriers from this area, but its no good having them if you are making a loss on every one you fly as you cant get your costs low enough...

10th Jan 2002, 14:52
I'd be interested to see who's bankrolling this. Surely not Star alliance!

10th Jan 2002, 15:05
Have BMI got enough flightdeck for this venture or will they need to recruit?

10th Jan 2002, 15:20
All smells like Buzz to me, spare KLMuk aircraft painted yellow and presto new airline. Its all getting so unoriginal ! <img src="redface.gif" border="0">

10th Jan 2002, 15:27
Good competition is good news for the pax and the industry..

All in all, a step in the right direction..

10th Jan 2002, 15:34
On Go's website:

Go's response to bmi - 10 January

Bmi's announcement to set up a low cost airline shows an airline in disarray. They can't decide whether to be full service or no frills which is a recipe for commercial disaster. This tactic was tried many times in the US and failed every time. It's a sign of a panic-stricken management that knows it's been ripping people off for years. Not surprising when they've been charging people fares like 900 to fly to Nice.

Go's plans for the Midlands remain unchanged. We have a track record of success in bringing low fares to London and Bristol. You can be sure that day-in-day-out Go's prices will not be beaten.

glider insider
10th Jan 2002, 15:55
no, web / phone and travel agents will not be a first,
Go currently offers all these sales channels plus booking on dgital TV. in addition to the facility for tour operators to book free sell seats.

there announcement that they dont look to expand from EMA seems a bit strange, surely the plan of most airlines is to start form one place, and when succesful expand to other areas that are underserved and increase your success.. one base, one set of eggs, one basket....oh well, lets wait and see...

10th Jan 2002, 16:51
737 'fleet' is apparently 2 a/c. Shouldnt be too hard to source at the mo.

10th Jan 2002, 17:59
I like the Orangeman's Answer from LTN

10 January 2002
BMI launches Buzz 2

easyJet response to BMI announcement.

BMI British Midland has today announced that it is setting up a new low-cost airline at East
Midlands Airport, its principal UK operating base after Heathrow.

While it is likely to prove entertaining to watch Go and BMI cut each other's throats at East
Midlands, it seems that BMI forgot to get the history books out.

No high-cost carrier has succesfully transitioned part of its business into a succesful
low-cost airline. Many have tried: Continental Lite, Shuttle by United, Buzz (from KLM). All
have failed.

When BMI sells its 18th Century stately home HQ at Donington Hall and moves to a cheap tin shed at East Midlands Airport we'll know they are serious about the low-cost airline business.

I also know of Fokker Drivers based at bmi/EMA who would prefer to go back to 737 fleet and FLY rather than "Upgrade" to the Bus.

10th Jan 2002, 18:01
Note the routes! Only Alicante and BCN are new. FAO, AGP, NCE, PMI are already operated by bmi from EMA and usually Fokker operated. High frequency, always were for summer season.
They are just moving their leisure routes to a low-cost divison.
Which makes me wonder regarding LHR leisure routes PMI, NCE and possibly DUB/BFS (low yield routes) will they go over to the low-cost side?

This new airline is in response to Go moving in at EMA, the bmi sacred airport.

10th Jan 2002, 18:11
Most importantly though does this mean a reprieve for some of the 109 redundancies?

If this saves a few jobs it has to be welcome.

10th Jan 2002, 18:50
With regards to the 18th century stately home, I was under the impression that it was purchased many years ago for pennies, and now effectively costs bmi absolutely zip, apart from a large heating bill. So I suspect a portacabin on the airfield would cost more.

Fortunatly I dont have GO's web site bookmarked, as it would appear to be spewing a lot of childish crap out at present. They don't appear to understand that objecting to someones route application is not exactly unusual, as they have done so in the past. However as reported on another thread they posted more moronic diatribe on their web site.

Me thinks this is all good healthy competition and good news for the midlands in general.

10th Jan 2002, 19:13
Where are these 737-300's coming from? I can't work out what they are dropping to fly these routes

10th Jan 2002, 19:28
Here, here wooof. You are correct re. the aforementioned stately hall - it costs the company next to nothing. Other respondents should not let their prejudices and preconceptions get the better of them. bmi may be a little slow off the mark responding to the competition from the lower cost carriers - but respond it will and the East Midlands population will be the beneficiary of the extra competition and perhaps some new routes. More airlines, more choice, more aircraft, more jobs for those that desperately need them - sounds OK to me.

10th Jan 2002, 21:13
[quote]Bmi's announcement to set up a low cost airline shows an airline in disarray.<hr></blockquote>

BMI is responding the best way possible...as I said before, this sort of competition is good news.

And having worked for GO, this comment is typical of the management - haven't got a clue!

10th Jan 2002, 21:38
The word is that the new airline will be called Baby bmi. An agency in London has registered the name yesterday.

Apparently it also featured in a publication this week called something like "Design Week"

In trim
10th Jan 2002, 21:45
Having recently moved from a full-service airline to work for a low-cost airline, I am aware that there needs to be a real culture change for all people involved. You don't just become low-cost by removing the catering and lowering ticket prices to fill the planes.

The entire philosophy of existing bmi staff involved in this venture will have to change. Working practices, culture, in order to achieve quick turnrounds, etc. That is not going to happen overnight, and if they are transferring significant numbers from bmi it will take a long time to get this approach up and running properly.

10th Jan 2002, 22:07
This has all been just like waiting for a bus in the middle of Leicester, wait ages and then two come at once!!
My very best wishes to GO and Baby BMI, let's hope that there are no losers , but perhaps that is hoping for too much. <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0"> :)

David Hurst
10th Jan 2002, 22:29
Seeing the slagging of bmi by other low-cost carriers; note Transavia's Basiqair service. Cheap fares, internet booking, different ticketing, cabin crew, cabin service, check-in but same aircraft and flight deck crew as the 'normal' Transavia service. They chose two popular routes and serve them from both Amsterdam and Rotterdam, dropping the previous 'normal' scheduled service.
Market research showed the Dutch public wanted cheap fares but were very worried about safety and reliability of low-cost airlines. Pax get different ticket stock and check-in but reassured by same livery aircraft. Seems to be doing well.

Peter Skellan
10th Jan 2002, 22:57
So BMI are going to lose a lot of lucrative business pax on domestic routes. They are then going to fly the same sunshine routes that they always have done but they are going to drop their tickets to 25. Hmm. Not a business plan I would like to present to my bank manager.

Isn't this a bit like Jaguar responding to the new Fiesta by cobbling together their own hatchback replete with wood panelling, leather and a "Stately Hall" trim?

Perhaps they are just planning on a money fight with Go hoping to drive them off. I hope not. BMI really doesn't need to lose any more money at the moment and I don't suppose Go have any to start with.

Surely it would be better if BMI focussed on delivery an world class full fare product whilst Go concentrate on a world class low cost line?

What next? Go announce a fleet of Gulfstream V's for EMA with a Conran designed new executive check in and lounge, wall to wall lambswool carpeting with free flowing champagne dispensed by dozens of Swedish 6ft cabin crew...

This industry is changing more in the last couple of years than it has in the last couple of decades. Thats for sure.


10th Jan 2002, 23:16
I think Steliarse has a nerve slagging off bmi when he was most vociferous in his objections to GO competing with him.How would he react to BA`s cast off competing with him in his own backyard.Maybe now that they are no longer owned by the arch enemy BA they have become acceptable to him.He reminds me of Freddie Laker who was all for a level playing field as long as he was playing downhill.He was most put out when Dan-Air undercut him on some charters!

11th Jan 2002, 00:57
Well, Babs was on the tv at tea time and she's not giving in. She "wishes them well" (yeah right she does).

Meanwhile B Mid are saying they are going to have normal BMI service, quality, food (yes) - just they are going to be no frills. What ??????????!!!!

I dunno what they are on but I didn't know you could obtain it in Castle Donnington.

11th Jan 2002, 01:16
The report I saw on local TV stated that food and drinks would be available for purchase.That seems reasonable to me given the projected low ticket price.Hopefully the staff will have the friendly approach which bmi are well known for unlike the low cost carriers.

11th Jan 2002, 03:05
Now that 'low cost airline mania' is finally hitting our streets, one wonders just "how low can it go" We've seen this all before a few years ago but then, it was with travel agencies ripping out each other's throats by flogging holidays with T.V. thrown in for your troubles.

Mr O'L, my wife would like a Dyson Vacuum cleaner - any chance of throwing one in on our 2 quid return tkt from DUB?.........AWWW FANX!!

Great for competition all this - but ALWAYS a loser at the end, sadly.


Electric Sky
11th Jan 2002, 03:53
whether bmi is prepared for this or not remains to be seen but i think it is the best response that they could give to Go's arrival. I believe that Go would have easily won the "battle of EMA" before this announcement. Lets face it who is going to pay 300 to get to Palma when they can go for 40. I understand that the 2 737-300s are excess to requirements on the scheduled network at LHR so that is where they are coming from. I do think that it will take some of the wind out of Go's sails but like all the successful low costs they are aggressive and will not shirk to the challenge at this stage!

I hope to see both airlines do well at EMA and hope that they don't pursue a target of killing each other as it is good for our jobs ... sadly i think i have false hopes!

ES <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

high & fast
11th Jan 2002, 05:26
Dear Chaps, I have just arrived in from the pub!! I personally hope that bmi sticks it to 'GO' in the EMA battlefield. I must admit I do admire the success of the low cost operators and I hope they choke when the airline with the deeper pockets squeezes out their market share at East Midlands. Get out of the bmi backyard or prepare to lose money!! (maybe the drink talking!)

Son Of Piltdown
11th Jan 2002, 10:59
From the Daily Telegraph 11 January:-

Austin's groovy venture may end up all shagged out

AUSTIN REID is doing his best to emulate his namesake, the International Man of Mystery. "British Midland remains and will continue to remain a full-service airline and we have no intention to become a budget carrier," he shrieked in November when someone had the temerity to suggest that he was about to launch a no-frills airline. He even went as far to write to a newspaper expressly denying that Britain's rather staid third-biggest airline was about to reinvent itself.

Groovy baby! But compare that with yesterday's froth about a "new no-frills airline based at East Midlands Airport." The new carrier will fly to Nice and Palma from East Midlands Airport and charge as little as 25 one-way. It makes the current British Midland operations look frillier than Austin Powers' natty flower-power shirts.

Ah, says the other Austin. This is a separate company. It will have a smashing new name and shagadelic corporate logo. Far from plunging British Midland downmarket, it will be an "independent and valuable addition to the British Midlands family" and will have a "long and successful future".

Perhaps, but try telling that to Easyjet's Dr Stelios or Ryanair's talkative Michael O'Leary. As no-frills airlines lower travellers' fare expectations, traditional airlines face being squeezed out.

The new AustinAir, or whatever it is called, may well have stringent cost control and super-cool efficiency, but launching it now will hardly fulfil the objective of driving down costs that the parent company waffled on about two months ago. Just ask British Airways.

11th Jan 2002, 11:52
Any airline should be continuously looking to reduce it's cost base - that way you make more (or lose less) than you otherwise would. The way for full service airlines to prosper is to differentiate themselves from low cost carriers, by offering a 'better' product than they do, whilst continuosly cutting their cost base. This is how BMW compete with Ford.

Right now economy class travel in Europe with a full service carrier is expensive and squalid. Business class travel in Europe is extortionate and (with a few honourable exceptions) marginally less squalid. Travel with a low cost airline is cheap and squalid.

Imagine an economy class European flight from Heathrow with:
- 30 minute minimum check-in
- No queue at the check in desk
- 30 kg baggage allowance
- Generous but consistently applied carry on allowance
- No queue for security
- A seat in the departure lounge
- An air bridge, not a bus
- Leisurely boarding
- 34" seat spacing
- On time departure
- Smiling staff helping passengers (not chatting)
- A decent meal, appropriate to the time of day
- Hot coffee
- Air bridge (no bus)
- Bag starting it's second lap of the carousel as you walk up.

Would I pay more for this than for a low cost carrier? Definitely! Would you be happier working for an airline that delivered this consistently day in day out? Almost certainly. Would the word get round? Like wildfire.

11th Jan 2002, 15:59
SLF3 I think that is a very good point you make. The full service airlines need to look at improving the environment we put passengers in especially the european business routes. Maybe BA BMI etc could consider having less seats in their aircraft. Provide a far higher quality service in business in Europe.

Pax point of view.

More space for luggage, quicker boarding and checkin less pax to board, faster turnarounds,
more space per pax, more personal service, increased flexibility, direct connections to longhaul flights. Little or no difference between the short and longhaul service.

BA could drastically cut it's shorthaul fleet, improve the cabins, laptop powerpoints etc. making the a/c predominantly business and link the major European business centres to their longhaul fleet.

But pay for it. Most people like quality products and if the quality is their they will pay for it.
But full fair services need to provide a big difference to low cost which I don't think their doing at the moment.

11th Jan 2002, 16:00
Completely agree with SLF3. If only it would happen.

Competition at EMA will be very good for punters in the area. Go probably thought they could just turn up and charge expensive 'budget' tickets, but now they have a competitor. Excellent.

Thinking as a punter, if I can get a really good service for only 2-3 pounds more than certain budget carriers then I will go for it. Accordingly, Go will have to raise their standards to compete effectively at EMA.

Unlike other posters, I do not think this is an impulsive move from BMI, they have been in the airline game for a long long time, and have seen freddie laker, easy and GO. What they have deployed is true business skills, in continually misleading the competition.

On a purely business level, their staff are of a very high level of competence having successfully run a large European airline for many years, and the squeals of 'unfair' and other nonsense from easy and Go, further confirm this. The budget airlines suddenly sound a bit unsure of themsleves.

For months the likes of Go and Easy have been screaming that they have real business sense and can successfully run airlines while the likes of BMI cannot. Now they will have REAL competition from professionals.

Good for aviation, jobs and competition. This will be the real shake up in UK/European aviation.

Hew Jampton
11th Jan 2002, 16:14
Who knows for sure that Toad Hall costs "absolutely zip"? Consider a (totally hypothetical of course) alternative: somebody buys a near-derelict building for practically nothing, receives a substantial grant to do it up, then rents it out to an organisation for a tidy sum.

[ 11 January 2002: Message edited by: Hew Jampton ]</p>

Peter Skellan
11th Jan 2002, 16:32
Hang on a minute.

My sympathies lie with the low cost sector here. It is they who are growing the business and generating the traffic.

BMI as the 2nd largest carrier is getting a very easy ride on this forum. Take the same situation and apply it to BA and I think there would be outright condemnation on these pages.

e.g. Tomorrow BA announce its going to start a new low cost division called Baby BA at Gatwick and they have 8 737's in the paintshop as we speak. They announce that Baby BA is going to fly 90% of the same routes that easyJet have announced they will start flying in 2 months time.

Every man Jack here would be up in arms accusing BA of trying to drive easyJet out of Gatwick. People would start banging on about putting Laker and Danair out of business and point knowing fingers at the Virgin dirty tricks fiasco.

And yet when the number two scheduled airline and the number two low cost airline in the UK go through exactly the same scenario people are slow to decry it.

Baby BMI should lose money for a good few years if it really is a new enterprise. All airlines do up to and including SouthWest when they start up. So what we have here is old Michael Bish willing to throw money away for a couple of years to drive out Go. And don't try and say that this hasty painting up of two surplus 737's is part of some grand strategic move by BMI. As their previous recent statement made clear they have no intention of becoming a low cost airline.

Go certainly has a much much stronger brand than Baby BMI or whatever they will be called. I'm sure Sir Bishop has deep pockets. He will need them.


Banzai Chap
11th Jan 2002, 17:09
Bmi had no choice but to react and a Summer schedule to the Med will see lots of full flights. One can only presume that Go had these destinations earmarked and they may have lost round 2 of the publicity war. However, what happens in the Winter of 2002 should be interesting as these destinations become less attractive.
At this stage given a choice I'd select Go because their move into EMA has made Bmi react. If they had not arrived Bmi would still be riping me off
big time

11th Jan 2002, 17:11
I am confused.

When Go announced its EMA venture, postings were praising thier initiative, boldness and flare whilst at the same time heralding the demise of a stuffy, staid and cumbersome airline.

Now the old maid has woken up and put her teeth in, postings are still against her biting back.

What do you want? bmi are, in pruners eyes, dammned if they do compete and damned if they don't. One things for sure, judging by the response, their announcement has certainly put the wind up some of the low cost airlines.

The Guvnor
11th Jan 2002, 17:16
Peter Skellan - they did. It's called Go.

11th Jan 2002, 20:57
I didn`t think terms and conditions at bmi could be worse. Cabin Crew flight pay was 1.07 an hour when I left in 98. I have heard that its more sensible now days. Long days 6 on 2 /3 off, 4 sectors, roster instability.
If the word "co-ordinator" appears anywhere, never touch the job, because that word at bmi mean you do it for love of the company and not for your bank account.
Then there is the Task Force Team....

Its all coming back........aaahhhhhhhhh <img src="eek.gif" border="0">

Buster the Bear
11th Jan 2002, 21:20
Baby bmi, in the states a baby's bmi is its body mass index!

I wonder just how much fat this operation will actually be carrying?

Young Paul
11th Jan 2002, 21:34
"Low cost" pay scales are not necessarily worse. At least as far as flight deck are concerned, sector pay does very nicely as a substitute for basic salary, and has the business advantage of rewarding productivity.

11th Jan 2002, 22:57
Speaking of body mass index, Buster, try visiting <a href="http://www.fly-bmi.com" target="_blank">www.fly-bmi.com</a> as opposed to <a href="http://www.flybmi.com" target="_blank">www.flybmi.com</a> . It's worth it for the giggle...

11th Jan 2002, 23:10
Delighted to see bmi has taken the initiative from Go.

As to the future, I should have thought that bmi has lower costs already out of EMA because their infrastructure is already in place and proven. That includes engineering and admin. Let's see how much it costs Go in handling fees and support when the summer trade slackens off and the bills still need to be paid.

Perhaps "low-cost" wages are not such problem; you will have a number of Boeing qualified pilots who will quite happily accept the EMA base and sector pay in lieu of London Weighting and the perpetual grind round the M25.

Good luck to bmi and, for the sake of the (rapidly reducing!) 109, a success.

Electric Sky
12th Jan 2002, 01:20
Kieron Daly's article is a little inaccurate!

bmi has not grounded any 737's, only A321's and a single A330. The 737's for the low cost will become available due to new A320's being delivered and exisiting A321's being reactivated for the summer schedule.

ES <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

12th Jan 2002, 02:39
If Baby BMI are only operating with 2 X 733s out of EMA this is hardly earth shattering, anyone know how many aircraft Go intend basing at EMA?

Sagittarius Rising
12th Jan 2002, 02:50
4 a/c. apparently baby bmi are going to be offered the uniforms recently handed back by the 146 crews.

12th Jan 2002, 03:08
Exile from Groggs,

Your point about sector pay rewarding productivity is a very valid one...

However, it does have the unfortunate side-effect of penalising lack of productivity -and sadly it isn't always down to the crews themselves....

3 days work a month won't pay the bills....

Fingers crossed all round.

Best wishes

(Edited for computing ineptitude)

[ 11 January 2002: Message edited by: calltheball ]</p>

Electric Sky
12th Jan 2002, 06:04
Go's announced that they were actually to base 3 aircraft at EMA.

ES <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

Little Blue
12th Jan 2002, 10:22
So, guys?
We show a bit of pro-activity in the face of a bold challenge from GO, and we get a verbal kicking for it.
When "baby bmi" succeeds in it's aim to provide a realistic competition to GO, then those detractors can come crawling back and grovel...
Reports of our demise were somewhat exaggerated...
Bring on the Bish ! <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

12th Jan 2002, 10:55
Earth calling Peter Skellan, Earth calling Peter Skellan!!!

What planet are you from, please tell as I would like to give it a miss on my cosmic travels.

How you can possibly compare bmi with BA is a complete mystery to myself, and I would imagine to most of my fellow earthlings.

"e.g. Tomorrow BA announce its going to start a new low cost division called Baby BA at Gatwick and they have 8 737's in the paintshop as we speak. They announce that Baby BA is going to fly 90% of the same routes that easyJet have announced they will start flying in 2 months time."

As Guv pointed out BA did and it is called GO.

"Every man Jack here would be up in arms accusing BA of trying to drive easyJet out of Gatwick. People would start banging on about putting Laker and Danair out of business and point knowing fingers at the Virgin dirty tricks fiasco."

bmi to my knowledge has never abused its market position, a position that has been built up over many years without any state hand outs or been gifted a dominent position at one of the largest airports in Europe.

"Go certainly has a much much stronger brand than Baby BMI or whatever they will be called. I'm sure Sir Bishop has deep pockets. He will need them."

GO had no branding approx. three years ago and baby bmi has not even got airbourne yet, so I think you're stating the obvious for the present.

It would appear the basis for your posting would be a belief that long founded companys should roll over and die when a new kid on the block turns up. Strange.

If you have a Earth bank account please post your account number and sort code as I would like to make a donation to your rocket fuel account, just to get you on your way again!

12th Jan 2002, 12:56
Letter in post this am. says that the 2 737s will come from LHR, to be replaced by 2 of the 'redundant' A320/321s.

The letter is also recruiting internally for transfers - this should hopefully create a reduction in the final number of pilot redundancies (20)...good news.

Also means that us on the bus might now get a Madrid nightstop or two :)

12th Jan 2002, 14:51
bmi already have a low cost airline called bmi regional with a base at EMA. I doubt you could give Pilots and Cabin Crew a worse deal or treat employees worse or think so little of them, or employ so many non nationals, bmi could transfer 737's to regional and offer jobs to the 40 odd 146 guys and girls made redundant on Dec 31, but then balpa would cry wouldn't they.

12th Jan 2002, 15:18
Ladies, when you've had quite enough popping and whining, reflect that jobs are jobs no matter what the colour of paint on the side of the machine. Now put your handbags away and if you're fortunate enough not to have lost your job like me so far.....enjoy. <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

12th Jan 2002, 15:42
Well said, Autobrake 3 - couldn't agree more.

12th Jan 2002, 15:54
Funny post Wooof. It must be a Saturday! For my part, I have difficulty understanding the detractors who for some reason seem to think that a commercial response from bmi is inappropriate, and any predatory action by GO, Easy or other low cost airline is somehow sacrosanct. bmi has every right to change shape, size, business model or whatever it wants to in order to survive and prosper in business. And there is one thing I am sure about, bmi WILL survive and prosper.
Have a nice weekend everyone.
<img src="smile.gif" border="0">

13th Jan 2002, 15:52
autobrake 3, you're wrong about any job being better than no job, if you take that argument to its extreme you have the situation where people are paying money to be able to work. Examples in the past, flying instructors paying flying clubs to instruct back in the early 1990's or many of the deals offered to new pilots at Gill or Cityflyer a few years ago, where you paid for your training and then some. The point is that you can accept inferior working conditions if you can see a way forward to better things(ie BMIR rates leading to Mainline rates in the future)BABY BMI is more likly to be a long term job and if you start on crap pay, thats what youve got to look fotward to for the rest of your career. Added to that bad conditions make for an unhappy workplace,which since we spend more than a third of our lives there, is a pretty poor prospect.

13th Jan 2002, 16:17
Speaking as one of the 146 crew made redundant on 31 Dec', I would like a job. Baby BMI would be nice and so would GO. If both ventures succeed, then there are more pilots employed, which is good news for us all.

Will Stuart be fleet Manager?

13th Jan 2002, 16:20
How about this that was sent to bmi employees!

Q&A sheet

Internal questions

1. Will there be dedicated employees assigned to the no frills operation?

Yes, at this stage only flight deck and cabin crew will be dedicated to the new airline.

2. Will this be a separate company?

Initially the company will operate within the bmi framework, but in the medium term we would expect it to be established as a separate entity.

3. If I volunteer to work for the no frills operation, will my pay, terms and conditions of employment change. Will the same union agreements apply?

In order to compete effectively in the niche market of no frills operators, we need all dedicated employees to be on terms and conditions that reflect the different nature of the business, which will reward productivity. We expect to recognise the current unions.

4. Will I be able to transfer back if I want to at a later date?

It will be possible to apply for a job at bmi british midland, subject to availability and the different terms and conditions.

5. What staff travel benefits will be available?

Current bmi staff will be able to use their standby and annual firm concessions on the no frills airline, subject to availability as always. At this stage, the friends and family scheme will not apply to the no frills routes, as the fares available will be very competitive. The no frills employees will have their own staff travel scheme for their own dedicated services.

6. Who will be running the new no frills airline - will there be a new management board?

The airline will not be operated under a separate management structure, but will be marketed as a stand alone product with its own name and brand.

7. When will we know what the airline is going to look like?

Further details will be announced next week.

External questions

8. Which destinations will the new airline operate to?

Initial destinations will include a high frequency of flights from East Midlands to Nice, Palma, Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante and Faro.

9. When will the new schedules start?

The no frills airline will start operating on 23 March 2002, the weekend before Easter.

10. When will it be possible to book tickets?

Later this month, with the date to be announced next week.

11. How can passengers book tickets?

Tickets can be booked on the website at a discount, or via reservations. Travel agents will also be able to make bookings through a dedicated internet facility.

12. How can I register for further information?

You will be able to register for further information on the no frills airline, by visiting the web site <a href="http://www.flybmi.com" target="_blank">www.flybmi.com</a>

13. What type of aircraft will be operating the new services?

Boeing 737-300 aircraft will be used to operate the no frills schedule, with a 148 seat configuration.

14. How many aircraft will be in the fleet?

Initially two aircraft will be dedicated to the no frills airline.

15. What will the seat pitch be?

The seat pitch will be up to 29-30 inches.

16. What service will be provided inflight?

The no frills airline will be operating a no frills service, with quality catering on board, available for purchase.

17. Will members of bmi’s frequent flyer programme, diamond club, be able to earn points on the new airline?

diamond club members will not be able to earn points when travelling on the new carrier, but they will be able to redeem points they have earned by travelling with bmi british midland.

18. What will the fares be?

The pricing structure will be extremely competitive with the ability to book low cost, one way or return fares - the actual fare levels will be announced next week, but internet fares will start from 25 each way including all taxes and charges.

19. Will there be a charge for tickets booked on credit cards?

As is customary with no frills airlines, tickets booked using a debit card will not incur additional charges, but credit card bookings will incur a surcharge.

20. What impact will this have on the development of bmi regional? Will other routes be transferred across to the no frills business? Where are the boundaries between bmi regional and the no frills airline?

The initial route network for the no frills airline, focuses on leisure routes to the Mediterranean. However, further route development may take place from the existing portfolio of bmi regional or by the addition of completely new destinations. This will be driven by customer demand.

21. In November, Austin Reid said that bmi was not going to become a low cost operator but should adopt some low cost principles. Why the change of mind so quickly?

bmi british midland is not becoming a no frills airline. In order to compete across all market segments in the industry, bmi is launching a separate no frills carrier, offering bargain fares for point to point travel.

22. Is this the beginning of an overall transition to no frills?

No. This is the launch of a separate no frills airline to be based at East Midlands Airport. bmi british midland’s Heathrow hub is clearly not suited to a low cost business model and as such, bmi is committed to its development of business routes within Europe and the USA, as well as being wholly committed to its membership of Star Alliance.

23. Will the new airline have a codeshare/interline strategy?


24. Will this mean more jobs being created? Are any further redundancies planned?

In the first instance, resourcing will come from the existing bmi british midland workforce. However, the overall management structure of bmi british midland is continually being reviewed to ensure that our overhead costs are kept under control in these challenging trading conditions.

25. What is bmi’s strategy for its overall business? We now have shorthaul full service, shorthaul regional, shorthaul no frills and longhaul. Isn’t this a confusing proposition for the customer?

bmi british midland has launched a no frills airline to meet the customer demands of a niche market. The current business model will still be maintained where there is demand for a full service airline, which offers connecting and interline opportunities.

26. How does this impact on bmi’s Star Alliance relationship?

It doesn’t. bmi british midland is still a full member of Star Alliance.

27. Have you come to an agreement on airport charges with East Midlands Airport?

bmi has come to an agreement with East Midlands Airport, which allows us to launch this new airline.

28. Why have you applied for a licence to operate East Midlands to Prague, when you objected to Go’s application?

The reason for our objection to the application by GO is to seek clarification from the UK Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) regarding the availability of future capacity on all routes between the UK and the Czech Republic including services from East Midlands Airport to Prague. bmi has applied for its own route licence in order to ensure that the airline has the opportunity to operate this route, should the bilateral agreement be re-negotiated.

29. Isn’t this just a pr stunt to prevent Go from competing in your own backyard?

No. bmi british midland is realising a long held ambition to launch a no frills airline in the Midlands. We believe there exists a market demand and an opportunity to commence a no frills business from East Midlands Airport. This has been facilitated by the new owners of the airport who have now demonstrated their willingness to develop it further. bmi has been a major operator and employer at East Midlands Airport for over 35 years and wants to continue its development in the region.


brain fade
13th Jan 2002, 17:29
I dont get this. If you want a 'no frills' airline in other words you want a low cost base so that you can sell the tickets for less without going bust, then why not just reduce the 'cost base' bit and then sell the tickets for a bit less money, capitalising as you go on your proper, full service, brand?
How can BM do this 'no frills' stuff when by definition they remain a 'full service' airline, with all the attendant overheads still in place?
Suggestion! Instead of puting the workers on poorer terms and conditions to save a few bob, why not sack a steady 75% of the management! believe me, nobody would even notice. (probably good advice for Big Airways also).
Still, never yet seen a turkey vote for christmas!

682ft AMSL
13th Jan 2002, 23:39
There is an intesting sub-plot developing here, surrounding the sudden interest in low-cost ops by the owners of EMA - Manchester Airport.

Could it be that one factor behind the recent developments is that a successful low-cost hub at EMA would potentially hinder a similar development at Finningley. Manchester Airport take c.25% of their punters from Yorkshire and are known to be nervous about the prospect of competition.

Representitives from MAPLC were certainly quick to point out the implications for Finningley of their actions, during the public enquiry last week.

14th Jan 2002, 15:08
Hi Electric Sky,

happy to be corrected - I asked them "what's been grounded" they said buses and 737s. Hard to know who else to ask! So what are the rest of the 'eight' then?

Electric Sky
14th Jan 2002, 19:21

Only Airbuses have been parked ... not sure how many A321's at EMA but I think it is 6 ... with one kept active for charter work. Also, 1 A330 sits at MAN after being returned early from its lease to SAS.
No 737's have ever been parked though.

Wasn't criticising, just correcting ... hope this helps.

ES <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

14th Jan 2002, 20:09
[quote]1. Will there be dedicated employees assigned to the no frills operation?

Yes, at this stage only flight deck and cabin crew will be dedicated to the new airline. <hr></blockquote>

If lowering the cost base is an issue in the success of the venture simply having dedicated flight crews hardly seems to be the answer!

[quote]2. Will this be a separate company?

Initially the company will operate within the bmi framework, but in the medium term we would expect it to be established as a separate entity.<hr></blockquote>

This will also give the opportunity to ditch it in the shorter term if GO proves to be more efficient and popular.

[quote]3. If I volunteer to work for the no frills operation, will my pay, terms and conditions of employment change. Will the same union agreements apply?

In order to compete effectively in the niche market of no frills operators, we need all dedicated employees to be on terms and conditions that reflect the different nature of the business, which will reward productivity. We expect to recognise the current unions..<hr></blockquote>

Is this a back door way of cutting all the salaries and reducing the terms and conditions protection of established union agreements ?

[quote]4. Will I be able to transfer back if I want to at a later date?

It will be possible to apply for a job at bmi british midland, subject to availability and the different terms and conditions. .<hr></blockquote>

Who is going to volunteer to take a salary cut, and no way back if the whole thing is closed down in 6 months?

Surely it would be sensible to offer the jobs to those who were made, or are likely to be made redundant. However, the entire opertaion would need to be "restructured" and ground staff, managers etc all put on different salaries and Ts & Cs to improve productivity. Hope it works but there do seem to be several potential stumbling blocks.

15th Jan 2002, 17:55
I think the two 737,s to be used are the two ex Brit World aircraft that are parked at EMA.

15th Jan 2002, 18:48
Sorry nitefiter

Not often right but wrong again. The aircraft are GOJTW and GECAS


[ 15 January 2002: Message edited by: Anne.Nonymous ]</p>

speed check
15th Jan 2002, 23:43
Easyjet and ryanair go on about everybody else being high cost. Maybe, but then there are some people who like to travel in a nice seat,eat nice food and get to the airport near the city.I hope BMI does well and good luck to all looking for a job.

Vref +50
16th Jan 2002, 00:27
Speed check: there are some people who like to travel in a nice seat,eat nice food and get to the airport near the city

Given that this thread is about Go and Baby BMI - the seat pitch will be the same in the same type aircraft with similar standards of food for sale on board whilst flying exactly the same routes.

What you appear to be referring to is that some people like to pay 600 to fly to Nice on a full frills airline. I contend that nearly everyone prefers to fly to Nice for a sixth of that cost. Which is the quite staggering differential you will find if you look at historic BMI and Go/easyJet fares.

Sir Michael Bishop is scared stiff about a proper Low Cost airline moving into his HQ and putting his company out of business. BMI's long haul is lossing money, Regional is marginally profitable and the only routes making money are UK domestics and the summer Foker routes. Go would clearly anhilate the domestic EMA routes offering - as they do already from EDI GLA BRS - 35 rtn fares.

Their summer load factors to the Med speak for themselves and you frequently cannot get on their flights in mid summer with less than a fortnight to go. Same goes for easy and Ryan...

Sir Michael is engaging in spoiling tactics. Which is regretable. <img src="frown.gif" border="0"> All the more so when one considers his chances with an airline no one has heard of compared to one that is currently plastered all over the Midlands...

The big boys are running scared. easyJet will kill BA Euro Gatwick stone dead within 2 years. I bet Go do the same to BMI's EMA operation. Fortress Heathrow will surely follow, but, perhaps not in my lifetime.


16th Jan 2002, 02:09
Well done ! You are the first to spot the fact that this has nothing to do with bmi in any way wanting to run a low cost airline. They can't even run a mainline or regional outfit. The ONLY reason that bmi have started this is to MAKE GO withdraw from EMA ( and BTW they will manage this - it is just a matter of time ). That is possibly the point on which we do not agree !!!!!

[ 15 January 2002: Message edited by: flappless ]</p>

Electric Sky
16th Jan 2002, 05:56
I reiterate that i hope both airlines succeed at EMA. One of my best friends has his mortgage paid for by Go and I have mine paid for by bmi .... are there some of us that really wish a rival airline to fail?

Sorry to be so forthright but some of the last posts here astound me!!

ES <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

16th Jan 2002, 12:54
Ouch, that really hurts!!

Amazon man
16th Jan 2002, 13:35
I am afraid Electric Sky that the aviation business like so many other areas of life in the UK now has its established yob element who seem to take great delight in doing others down and sticking in the boot when your on the floor .

Most of the gentlemen in this business are long gone and thankful to be out of it.

16th Jan 2002, 15:45
Sorry nitefiter - cruel to be kind! <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Like Electric Sky, I too am astounded by the recent replies. Those within bmi who are, or may be, affected by this initiative will have access to the BM_Allpilots list where senior management have openly (to my mind) answered the questions of BM pilots, i.e. which pilots and cabin crew, which AOC /aircraft etc. What appears here is mainlyill-informed speculation from those who have little or nothing to do with the airlines involved. (Check the profiles of some contributors!)

Like most successful businesses bmi had already conducted a feasibility study for the future; the low fare airline had already been looked at but the arrival of Go on the doorstep precipitated the decision to start. bmi has always relished competition and took BA head on out of DUB/BFS/EDI/GLA. BA no longer fly LHR - DUB and LHR - BFS and I understand are reviewing their other shorthaul routes.

There will always be those who wish to fly from a major airport to a major airport in comfort and willing to pay for it; likewise there will always be those looking for the best they can afford. The trick is to cover the widest spectrum of the market so that you don't put all your eggs in the one basket; it also ensures that you will be here when the pendulum swings back again. bmi have done this with the long haul, full service, charter, regional and now the low fare; meantime Go have concentrated purely on the low fare.

Good luck to both airlines and to those who work for them. I hope they enjoy working out of EMA as much as I did when I was based there.


16th Jan 2002, 16:01
But this is an anti competitive move.

BMI have fought off any competition at EMA, in recent history, KLM in Amsterdam, and CityJet in Dublin.

This was done by increasing capacity, switching to Jets, lowering fares, etc.

BMI, and their owners SAS (my airline) and LH have a history of anti competitive behaviour. Just look at SAS in Copenhagen (with Maersk), SAS against Virgin express, LH against GO and Ryanair.

SAS tried the same thing recently against GO and FR in Stansted. I enojoyed the cambridge nightstops, pity we were carrying no passengers! The company must have lost a fortune here! I think that the same thing will happen with BMI.

It the GO case, BMI flew a full service A321 on STN MUC just to kick GO off the route. Fares, min stay, frequencies and schedules virtually the same.

BMI should focus on their loss making European operations ex heathrow, and finding a home for their underused A330 fleet at Manchester. NOT trying to enter yet another market segment that they have no history in. There is no room for two low cost carriers in East Midlands. Thats BMI's plan.

And I cannot believe that pilots just sacked by BMI will come back to BMI on a lower salary, and worse conditions! You would lose your redundancy payments, have to move home, and get paid less, just to be shafted two years down the line when BMI realise that they are spending too much money on this! Just like SAS did in Stansted.

16th Jan 2002, 16:05

The underused A330 fleet at Manchester? They operate daily flights to Chicago and a 6 weekly service to Washington with the 3rd in storage/used as back-up.


Max Angle
16th Jan 2002, 16:18

I think it's called competition, you are quite right in saying that BMI would like only one low cost carrier at EMA and we would like it to be us instead of GO!. It would be pretty strange if they thought otherwise. I know it's a fine line between competition and anit-competitive practice but it's a hard old world out there and I am sure that GO are big enough to look out for themselves.
Just to correct your point about the A321 at Stansted, it was not a BMI operation but a full wet lease to LH with LH flight numbers and LH catering etc. Apart from 3 rows (12 seats) of full service biz, which nobody ever booked in, it was just tea and biscuit service.

[ 16 January 2002: Message edited by: Max Angle ]</p>

16th Jan 2002, 16:25
Underused = 33% of fleet idle all day every day.

Underused = 3 aircraft operating 26 weekly operations to US east coast destinations

Max Angle

I'm afraid that BMi will be the loosers. GO are profitable, I doubt BMi are. Go will have low cost and low yields, Bmi lite will have higer costs and low yields.

16th Jan 2002, 17:09




<img src="smile.gif" border="0">

[ 16 January 2002: Message edited by: Airbus215 ]</p>

16th Jan 2002, 17:51
Hate to do this back, but SAS took it off BD's hands because BMI didn't have a market for it! (what a charitable parent we are!)

It was always only going to be a short lease with SAS, easy for SK to hand back. Post 9/11, it was the easiest capacity reduction choice for SK, but it just gave BD back with their original 2001 issue.. an expensive aircraft without a market.

And anyway. I said that BD should focus on making a success of this market. They are a great airline, but are losing their way with this low cost market.

16th Jan 2002, 18:15

You say the 3rd A330 will be shortly being used.

Have you any ideas what routes it is to be operated on?

Whats the latest on the new airline name?

16th Jan 2002, 18:28
bmi like I said before have only started this low-cost airline because Go is operating routes out of there sacred EMA. bmi have NEVER allowed another scheduled carrier to operate out of EMA.
Business Air, CityJet, KLMuk all have been shifted out the way.
That business brief, news release that bmi management has prepared....seen all the same things before for other plans, ideas that BM have issued in the past. See nothings new there.
Even the routes are hardly new. FAO, PMI, NCE,AGP where operated by DC9`s when I was there. BCN and ALC just thrown in for good measure, as possible Go destinations.
BM were good at new ideas and future planning. Paxs always looked after, but in recent times the company has stood still. bmi had NO intensions to operate a low cost airline spin off. The Sunday Business newspaper reported the story bmi was to go low-cost, (which I posted on pprune) and The newspaper had to apologise for incorrect reporting because bmi was not going low-cost.

I am wondering how they plan to make the savings needed to make it viable. No disrespect to anyone at bmi but I worked 6 days on 4 sector days around 8-10 hours and in my day flight pay was between 70p-1.07 an hour on leaving.

There is nothing wrong with competition, all for it but bmi track record at EMA is not good, for allowing it at its home base.

[ 16 January 2002: Message edited by: euroboy ]</p>

Little Blue
16th Jan 2002, 19:23
Hey Euroboy,
we meet again.
U must have one hell of a gripe about your time at Midland.
I remember you as a good member of staff, but you're tarnishing that memory with yr sniping at us...
True. we have seen off a few competitors in our time, but that's the nature of the business.
This time, though, I believe that Go and bmi can work alongside each other.
More news tomorrow, so the jungle drums say. Maybe some more of your "questions" will be answered then...Cheers AA !!

Kate Reeves
16th Jan 2002, 20:13
I heard that is was due to be named Baby BMI.

16th Jan 2002, 20:22
Check out <a href="http://www.bmi-baby.com" target="_blank">www.bmi-baby.com</a>

At the minute it's a blank page but if you add it to your favourites you'll notice a bmi logo appear near the address.

Get it? bmi-baby (be my baby)!

Little Blue
16th Jan 2002, 20:50
bmi baby....I can see the adverts already.... <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

16th Jan 2002, 21:53
Little Blue

Nope not snipping at you, just telling the way it was and is. When you move on and you see more of the world you start to see what was right and wrong with a company.
I don`t hold any grudges against bmi, but I am able to put views and comments regarding my time with the company.
Is the "AA" in your posting my initials? If so I am not him.

All the best.