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Flybmi won't be the last airline failure, say analysts

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Exclusive: Flybmi Set To Collapse

1 hour ago

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Aviation Analyst can exclusively reveal that the immediate future of British regional airline Flybmi is at risk, with the airline facing imminent collapse. Flybmi is headquartered at East Midlands Airport in the UK, with additional operating bases across Britain and continental Europe, including Brussels and Munich.

Its scheduled network includes Oslo, Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and London Stansted.

Amid ongoing financial difficulty, Flybmi’s sole owner, Airline Investments Limited has initiated preparations for a potential collapse as soon as tomorrow — if extra funding is not secured over the coming hours. The carrier currently operates a fleet of four Embraer ERJ-135 and 15 ERJ-145 jets.

 

imageproxy.php?img=&key=a0cae979cfbc8cbdThis afternoon’s most recent ex-UK departure was cancelled between Bristol and Munich, and Flybmi airline jets based in Brussels positioned back to Bristol on Friday night, and Saturday morning.

In addition, two aircraft based in Munich, and one based in Karlstad have positioned to Norwich — home to an aircraft storage facility. Another two Embraer jets based in Munich will position to the UK this afternoon.

Flybmi crew who were rostered on weekend ‘night-stops’ have been flown back to the UK, and while crew wait to hear the future of the airline, their rostered flights have been replaced by ‘home standby’.

Flybmi was previously part of iconic UK airline brand British Midland International (BMI). In November 2009 Lufthansa became the sole shareholder of British Midland Airlines Ltd via a British holding company. The German flag carrier airline carried out extensive restructuring in an attempt to bring Flybmi to profitability—but this was never achieved. In 2012, the carrier was sold to Sector Aviation Holdings and has operated independently since October 2012.

The airline is now part of a wider airline holding company called Airline Investments Limited (AIL) Group is made up of two British airline brands: Flybmi and Loganair. The two owner-entrepreneurs – Stephen and Peter Bond – have a long history in aviation, having previously owned Bond Aviation in the UK, and being the original investors of ‘Alliance Airlines’ in Australia.

 

The airline has several partnerships with international carriers. Flybmi has codeshare agreements with Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Air Dolomiti, Loganair and Air France.

In addition to its scheduled operations, Flybmi operates a number of charter shuttle services, including on behalf of Airbus, using its Embraer 145 aircraft. The Airbus shuttle flights carry employees between Airbus manufacturing sites at Broughton, Bristol and Toulouse. Earlier this month, Airbus lost its Toulouse-Hamburg Finkenwerder employee shuttle-service airline operator ‘Germania’ following Germania’s immediate collapse. As a result, Airbus is currently having to wet-lease aircraft from leasing-airline specialist Titan Airways. In the meantime, the European planemaker is looking for a new shuttle operator.

Now just two weeks since Germania’s collapse, Airbus looks set to lose its UK-France shuttle airline operator too.

As of Saturday afternoon, Flybmi is continuing to sell tickets.

Two weeks ago, flybmi said it will announce a new flight between Derry and Manchester ‘in the next few weeks’. The carrier also said it may extend a UK-government subsidised daily Flybmi flight between Derry and London Stansted, but highlighted that a decision would only be made ‘after mid-February.’

Flybmi is a favourite of business travellers due to the carrier’s convenient departure times, and the ability to fly to secondary cities to cater for a business travel demand that would otherwise be left unserved.

Just four months ago, the carrier signed a new codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines. The partnership gave passengers the ability to book via flybmi.com and travel from Manchester, London Heathrow and Dublin on to Turkish Airlines flights.

Overcapacity in the European aviation sector has resulted in the demise of airline operators such as Monarch Airlines, who were present in both the low-cost airline market and the leisure airline market — while failing to be a market leader in either. The airline faced fierce competition from both sides and collapsed amid its flawed strategy.

Furthermore, both the uncertainties surrounding Brexit and a year-long higher oil price in 2018 have wiped off profits (or attempts to become profitable) at even the most financially stable airline carriers. Flybmi’s CEO last year revealed that the carrier was considering a new EU subsidiary to secure operations after the Brexit, given the complexities a ‘no-deal’ exit could present to British-registered airlines flying EU to EU state, post-Brexit.

Winter is also a difficult time for European airlines, given the lower demand but continuing high costs.

A sharp increase in Air Traffic Control strikes across Europe also wreaked havoc on airlines in 2018, and it was categorically one of the worst years in history for Air Traffic Control strikes across the continent, but predominantly in France.

Final Thought

Flybmi plays an important role in connecting travellers between the UK and cities on the continent but faces incredibly fierce competition from low-cost airline giants, which has left the airline vulnerable.

The airline faces collapse as soon as tonight — unless the owners are able to secure last-minute funding.

Stay with aviationanalyst.co.uk for the latest.

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Game over....

https://www.flybmi.com/

Press Release: 16 February 2019

British Midland Regional Limited, the East Midlands-based airline which operates as flybmi, has today announced that it has ceased operations and is filing for administration.

Flybmi operates 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities.

All flights have been cancelled with effect from today. Customers who booked directly with flybmi should contact their payment card issuer to obtain a refund for flights which have not yet taken place. Customers who have booked flybmi flights via a travel agent or one of flybmi’s codeshare partner airlines are recommended to contact their agent or airline for details of options available to them. Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to find out if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.

A spokesperson for flybmi said:

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today. 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. 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 £40m 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.

Notes:

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

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

Information for Customers & Customer Questions and Answers

This document has been prepared in order to provide high level information for customers of the Company who have booked one or more flights that have not yet flown (the “Customers”). This document contains general information which may be relevant to Customers and is not deemed to be specific advice to any particular Customer. This document is intended for information for the Customers of the Company only and is not exhaustive of every right or option which may be available to a Customer.

OVERVIEW

  • The Company is no longer able to operate any flights to and from the UK and within Europe.
  • ALL FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT BOTH FROM AND TO THE UK AND WITHIN EUROPE.
  • All Customers due to travel with the Company will need to rebook flights with an alternative airline.
  • Please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with an alternative airline.
  • The Company is unable to arrange or reschedule any flights for you.
  • If Customers have booked through a code share partner of the Company (Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti) or a booking agent you should contact them directly.

CUSTOMER ACTIONS

  • The following actions may be available to Customers in respect of any claim they may have relating to any booked flight that has not flown:
  • Credit Cards - Customers who have paid a deposit or paid for flights by credit or debit card and the flights have been cancelled may be able to claim a refund from their card issuer. Please contact your card issuer as soon as you can if this applies to you. Further information is available from the UK Cards Association: Credit and Debit Cards: a Consumer Guide www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk
  • Travel Insurance - 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.
  • If Customers have booked through a code share partner of the Company (Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolimiti) or a booking agent you should contact them directly.
  • Please refer to the following Questions and Answers for further information.

I am due to fly tomorrow, what should I do?

  • Unfortunately all flights have been cancelled.
  • Do not go to the airport unless you have booked a flight with an alternative airline.
  • If Customers have booked through a code share partner or a booking agent you should contact them directly for assistance.
  • Our code share partners are Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti.

As my flight has been cancelled who will help me to fly?

  • The Company is unable to reschedule or rebook alternative flights on behalf of Customers.
  • Customers will need to make alternative arrangements with a different airline.
  • If Customers have booked through a code share partner or a booking agent you should contact them directly for assistance.
  • Our code share partners are Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti.

Who pays for my replacement fight?

  • The Company is unable to purchase alternative flights for Customers affected. Those affected will have to purchase replacement flights directly with a different airline.
  • If Customers have booked through a code share partner or a booking agent you should contact them directly.
  • Our code share partners are Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti.

How do I get my money back for cancelled flights?

  • The Company is unable to repay Customers for cancelled flights which they have paid for.
  • There are a number of options available to Customers to consider:
    • Customers should contact their bank/credit card provider to obtain refunds.
    • If Customers have booked through a code share partner or a booking agent you should contact them directly (details above).
    • Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to understand if they are eligible to claim as a result of the cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.

Will the Company loan me money to get home or for replacement flights?

  • The Company is unable to loan Customers money to pay for replacement flights.

I have paid on my credit / debit card, what should I do?

  • If Customers have made a deposit for or paid for goods or services by credit or debit card and the goods or services are not going to be received by the due date, you may be able to get your money back by claiming a refund from your card issuer.
  • If you think this may apply to you, you should contact with your card issuer as soon as you can to understand what financial protection you may be entitled to.
  • Further information (including time limits that may apply) is available from the UK Cards Association Credit and Debit cards: A Consumer Guide www.the ukcardassociation.org.uk.
  • The contact number for your credit or debit card issuer is likely to be located on the reverse of your card (otherwise it can be found online). The card issuer is the bank which issued the card to you, not the payment processor. For example, if you have an Lloyds MasterCard, the card issuer is Lloyds (not MasterCard).
  • If you paid by credit card, you may have a claim against your credit card issuer under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Card Act 1974 for the cost of making alternative travel arrangements to return to the UK together with any additional costs reasonably incurred. Section 75 claims are only available in respect of individual flights which each cost over £100 at the time of purchase. However, please contact your credit card issuer for further details on eligibility, which costs may and may not be covered and how to make a claim.

I have had to pay for a hotel and food whilst I have been waiting to return to the UK, how do I get my money back?

  • As detailed above if you paid by credit card, you may have a claim against your credit card issuer under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Card Act 1974 for the cost of making alternative travel arrangements to return to the UK together with any additional costs reasonably incurred. Section 75 claims are only available in respect of individual flights which each cost over £100 at the time of purchase. However, please contact your credit card issuer for further details on eligibility, which costs may and may not be covered and how to make a claim.
  • 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.
  • Customers may also have a claim for compensation under EU regulations 261/2004 (see below) for reasonable expenses.

What is EU Regulation 261/2004?

  • This regulation establishes the common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of certain flights within the EU.
  • If Customers have booked through a code share partner or a booking agent you should contact them directly regarding an alternative flight.
  • Our code share partners are Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Loganair, Air France and Air Dolomiti.
  • If your flight has been cancelled you may have a statutory right to make a claim for compensation under this regulation.

I have already arranged holiday and annual leave with my employer and made accommodation bookings – what if I can’t find other flights? Will I be compensated for my costs?

  • If you have paid by credit card you may be able to claim these costs back. Please contact you card issuer regarding this.
  • Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to understand if they are eligible to claim as a result of cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.

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Loganair picks up routes from failed sister carrier

 
‎Today, ‎February ‎17, ‎2019, ‏‎2 hours ago
Scottish carrier Loganair is to preserve five routes previously operated by its sister airline BMI Regional.
 

Ryanair seeks to take on BMI Regional crews

 
‎Today, ‎February ‎17, ‎2019, ‏‎14 hours ago
Ryanair has swooped to encourage flight personnel from collapsed BMI Regional to join the budget carrier.
 

Flybe bids to reassure as mix-up follows Flybmi collapse

 
‎Today, ‎February ‎17, ‎2019, ‏‎15 hours ago
UK regional operator Flybe has stressed that it is continuing to operate as normal, following confusion over the collapse of BMI Regional.
 
 

BMI Regional partly blames Brexit as it ceases operations

 
‎Yesterday, ‎February ‎16, ‎2019, ‏‎12:31:12 PM
UK operator BMI Regional has become the latest casualty of the pressure on European airlines, with its decision to cease operations and file for administration.

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Flybmi won't be the last airline failure, say analysts

By Russell Hotten Business reporter, BBC News
Flybmi Embraer ERJ145Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Flybmi won't be the last airline to collapse, analysts say

In two short sentences, Flybmi's announcement that it had collapsed summed up the airline industry's woes: fuel costs, green taxes, Brexit uncertainty, falling passenger numbers. It might have added fierce competition, but that is probably a statement of the obvious.

Several European airlines have folded or hit financial trouble during the past two years. Britain's Monarch collapsed in October 2017, while Germany's Germania filed for insolvency earlier this month.

Air Berlin and Alitalia went bust, although the latter was propped up by the Italian government.

Primera, Cobalt, Germany's Azurair, Small Planet Airlines and SkyWork may not be household names, but all succumbed to the market turbulence sweeping across the sector. Flybe is being rescued by a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air, assuming the deal is approved by shareholders.

Last month Norwegian Air Shuttle was forced to seek an emergency cash injection, putting a question mark over its promise to revolutionise budget long-haul travel.

 

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary may be prone to a bit of hyperbole, but when he warned this month that the industry would see more bankruptcies no one doubted him.

"Winter is the worst time of year for airlines," says Ascend Consultancy analyst Peter Morris. "If you can get through the winter there's a chance of getting summer bookings."

So why are so many airlines failing? Travel expert Simon Calder went to the heart of the problem when he told the BBC that the airline industry's problem is: "There are simply too many seats and not enough people."

But the reasons for this are many and complex.

Airline failures since 2017

The growth of airlines in Europe, mainly budget carriers, came on the back of de-regulation and an explosion of route networks.

Using new and cost-efficient aircraft operators started new services. If one route failed, they tried another. Flexibility was key.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the number of flights in Europe has risen more than 40% compared with a decade ago. At the same time, though, fares have fallen, squeezing margins and reducing financial room for manoeuvre.

This expansion has not insulated the industry from wider economic shocks, such as economic slowdown, unfavourable exchange rates, and sudden extra costs - from traffic control strikes, maintenance bills, bad weather (remember the Beast from the East) and passenger compensation.

New EU passenger compensation rules were, said Wizz Air boss József Váradi, becoming a real burden on airlines. He cited this, along with fuel costs, as the two biggest squeezes for many carriers.

Oil prices rose and slumped in 2018, and since the start of the year have been on their way back up. Fuel costs have been cited as a factor is almost all the problems reported by airlines in the last couple of years.

Flybe planeImage copyright Getty Images Image caption A deal to rescue Flybe is awaiting shareholder approval

Flybmi also highlighted another extra cost that did damage - emissions taxes. Tim Jeans, a former managing director of Monarch and chairman of Newquay Cornwall Airport, agrees that it is becoming an serious issue for the whole industry.

"Carbon costs are a creeping cost for all airlines," he told the BBC. "The fees you need to pay to carry out your flying are are going up all the time, and they are now quite a material cost."

He thinks many airlines have not fully budgeted for this rise. "It certainly looks like that is the case with Flybmi," he said.

There's also the issue of Brexit. Critics say it has become convenient for UK companies to blame uncertainty around Britain leaving the EU for their problems.

But for any UK airline - from Flybmi to British Airways - the potential unravelling of Europe's open skies agreement that has existed for decades is a real worry, Mr Jeans says.

It will certainly hinder the ability of some airlines to do deals and offer services if there is uncertainty about their freedom to fly across Europe, he said.

Michael O'LearyImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Ryanair's Michael O'Leary warned of more casualties among airline industry

Mr Morris says problems at International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) underline how Brexit is worrying the major carriers.

To retain its operating licence in Europe, IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, must show it is more than 50%-owned and controlled by EU investors. So, IAG is capping non-EU investment - except for UK shareholders, who will be counted as part of the EU even after Brexit.

It's an example, says Mr Morris, of "how even the big boys might have some problems with the aviation environment".

Will there be more airline failures? "Yes, I think definitely," says Mr Morris.

Airlines that are particularly vulnerable are the smaller carriers squeezed between the major players like BA and Lufthansa, and the big low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Easyjet, Mr Morris says.

The former have economies of scale and a presence at major hub airports like Heathrow. The latter operate larger, more efficient aircraft and more regular services, so have lower per-seat costs. It means both sectors can better withstand shocks.

Mr Jeans agree. "Flybmi's demise is a perfect example of just how difficult it is to make money in that middle ground," he says.

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1 hour ago, Kip Powick said:

44444444444444444.jpg.53526d93818e1f8e82c0f29a380341bd.jpg

Probably just perspective but that is a rather unusual set up for windshield wipers... Saab 340?

the nose does look like a qr400

Image result for q400 wipers

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It is a Q-400 the airline is Flybe......just wondering about the windshield wipers....

More realistic now...........😅..((.sunny with intermittent rain showers))

 

15505259252283377?607850044

  • Haha 3

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Once upon a time crews on some bombardier aircraft would "position" the wipers in the up position because it was quieter in the cockpit if they did so.  Bombardier redesigned the wiper arms due to the noise complaints by crews.  Not sure how much better it was.

 

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18 minutes ago, boestar said:

Once upon a time crews on some bombardier aircraft would "position" the wipers in the up position because it was quieter in the cockpit if they did so.  Bombardier redesigned the wiper arms due to the noise complaints by crews.  Not sure how much better it was.

 

I wondered if the flybe Q400 photo had its wiper blades parked in that position for a reason. By the looks of the skipper I’d say he has some of his own procedures which work for him. 

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