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Tue, Feb 19, 2019

European Regional Airline flybmi Abruptly Ceases Operation

Leaves Hundreds Of Passengers Stranded, Cites Carbon Tax And Brexit As Contributing Factors

British Midland Regional Limited, the East Midlands-based airline which operates as flybmi, abruptly ceased operations on Saturday and is filing for administration.

Flybmi operates 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities. The move left hundreds of passengers stranded, according to media reports

The company posted a notice on its website saying all flights have been cancelled effective immediately.  “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement. The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme," a flybmi spokesperson said in the posted notice. "These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit. Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe. Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.

“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40 million ($52 million) in the last six years. We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.

“Our employees have worked extremely hard over the last few years and we would like to thank them for their dedication to the company, as well as all our loyal customers who have flown with us over the last 6 years.”

Bmi Regional employed a total of 376 employees based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium. Flights operated by flybmi served Aberdeen, Bristol, Brno, City of Derry, Dusseldorf, East Midlands, Esbjerg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Jonkoping, Karlstad, London Stansted, Lublin, Milan Bergamo, Munich, Newcastle, Norrkoping, Nuremburg, Oslo, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rostock/Laage, Saarbrucken and Stavanger.

The airline carried 522,000 passengers on 29,000 flights in 2018.

Customers with bookings should contact their bank or payment card issuer to initiate the process of obtaining a refund. If Customers have booked through Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines or another airline or code partner or a booking agent Customers should contact them directly. Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to understand if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.

Flybmi flights operated under codeshare agreements with code partners Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti.

(Source: flybmi website posting. Image from Facebook)

FMI: www.flybmi.com

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