BMI Regional

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bmi regional
Bmi Regional.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
BM[1][2] BMR[3] MIDLAND[3]
Founded 1987
Operating bases
Fleet size 18
Destinations 20
Company slogan Streamlined for business
Parent company Sector Aviation Holdings Limited
Headquarters East Midlands Airport
Key people
  • Stephen Bond (Chairman)
  • Peter Simpson (CEO)

British Midland Regional Limited (trading as bmi regional) is a British regional airline that operates scheduled passenger services across the UK and Europe. The airline's head office is in East Midlands Airport in North West Leicestershire, with its registered office and operations control located at Aberdeen Airport. The airline has operating bases at Aberdeen, Bristol, Chester Hawarden, East Midlands and Newcastle.

BMI Regional is a former subsidiary of British Midland International (BMI), which was purchased from Lufthansa by International Airlines Group (IAG) on 20 April 2012. BMI Regional was sold to Sector Aviation Holdings in May 2012 and has operated as an independent airline since October 2012.


A former Business Air Saab 340

The airline was established in 1987 as Business Air and started operations in August 1987. In 1999 Business Air was purchased by British Midland and became British Midland Commuter. In 2001 it changed its name to bmi regional.

As a subsidiary of BMI, BMI Regional was owned by Sir Michael Bishop (50%), Lufthansa (30%) and Scandinavian Airlines (20%). Lufthansa purchased Sir Michael Bishop and SAS' stakes in October 2009, taking full ownership of the airline group.[4] A restructuring of the group was announced the following month, which also affected BMI Regional's operations. A suspension of loss-making routes and capacity adjustments within the group resulted in BMI Regional having a surplus of three Embraer aircraft in 2010, and the company began consultations with staff over possible job losses. The excess aircraft were leased to other carriers.[5]

BMI Regional was acquired by Sector Aviation Holdings, a company predominantly owned and funded by Stephen and Peter Bond, whose family sold helicopter operator Bond Aviation Group in 2010. Sector Aviation Holdings also include the founders of BMI Regional's predecessor Business Air, Ian Woodley and Graeme Ross. The sale was announced on 1 June 2012.[6]

In 2014 BMI Regional was named the most punctual scheduled airline in the UK for the ninth consecutive year. Based on Civil Aviation Authority statistics, the airline achieved an on-time performance of over 92% in 2013.[7]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Head office of BMI Regional at East Midlands Airport

Since being founded as Business Air, the company has always had its Operations Control Centre located at Aberdeen. The current building is shared with CHC Helicopter which utilises the hangar space for helicopter maintenance and storage for its North Sea fleet.

Following the purchase of bmi regional in May 2012, Sector Aviation Holdings took the decision to relocate the company headquarters from Aberdeen to Pegasus Business Park, on the grounds of East Midlands Airport. Whilst a subsidiary, some head office functions were provided by British Midland International at its head office in Donington Hall, Castle Donington. Despite the relocation, bmi regional still maintains a presence in the village of Castle Donington through the current head office.


Operations office of BMI Regional at Aberdeen Airport

British Midland Regional Limited holds a Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.[8]

Since becoming an independent airline, bmi regional has changed its callsign from "Kittiwake" to "Midland" and on 28 October 2012 announced that it would be using "BM" as the company IATA airline designator in place of the previously used "BD" which belonged to British Midland International.

Bmi regional’s two main operating bases are Aberdeen Airport and Bristol Airport. On 23 January 2014, bmi regional launched a new domestic operation in Norway with an aircraft based in Stavanger. This new service provided the first scheduled direct air link between Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes and Stavanger.

Along with the current operating bases, bmi regional previously had numerous bases throughout the United Kingdom with crew stationed at Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport, Manchester Airport and London Heathrow Airport. All of these bases had bmi regional routes operated from them along with routes on behalf of British Midland International (BMI), Heathrow which was solely mainline routes. A base at Birmingham Airport opened during May 2013, but on 28 October 2013 it was announced that following a network review the base would close at the end of December 2013.

Using its Embraer 145 aircraft, bmi regional operates a number of shuttle services on behalf of aircraft manufacturer Airbus. These link manufacturing sites at Broughton, Filton and Toulouse. Despite previously having crew based at Manchester Airport and no scheduled services operating from Chester Hawarden, bmi regional based crew at Hawarden for the Airbus shuttle flights. Originally the Airbus shuttle operated to Filton Aerodrome but following its closure in December 2012, the shuttle operation transferred to Bristol Lulsgate in January 2013. This had no impact on crew as they were already based at Bristol.

In early 2014, bmi regional commenced a contract to operate a further staff shuttle on behalf of helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland. This shuttle was previously operated by Eastern Airways using an Embraer 135 between Milan Malpensa and RNAS Yeovilton. Bmi regional will continue to operate between Milan and Yeovilton but will use the larger Embraer 145.

In summer 2015 the airline is to base an Embraer 135 and an Embraer 145 at Munich to operate services to Bern, Liège and Rotterdam in conjunction with Lufthansa and replacing Lufthansa CityLine. This follows the signing of a code-share agreement with Lufthansa in April 2014.[9]


As a subsidiary of British Midland International, the airline operated regional services for its parent. Since becoming independent of BMI, the airline has completed an entire network review which has resulted in numerous route and base closures along with the introduction of a number of new routes during 2012 and 2013.

Bmi regional operates scheduled services to over 20 destinations throughout continental Europe including Scandinavia and also United Kingdom. Commencing 30 March 2014, the start of the IATA Northern Summer Season 2014, the airline operated a scheduled service on behalf of Brussels Airlines between Brussels and Bristol. Previously, bmi regional also operated a scheduled service on behalf of Brussels Airlines between Brussels and Newcastle. The airline also operates a scheduled service between Kristianstad and Stockholm on behalf of Swedish regional airline Flyglinjen.

At present, bmi regional has codeshare agreements in place with other airlines. Bmi operates codeshares with Lufthansa on its routes from Bristol to Frankfurt and Munich. It also operates a codeshare with Brussels Airlines from Newcastle to Brussels.[10]

Bmi regional also regularly operates holiday charter flights over the summer months. These destinations have included Bastia on the island of Corsica on behalf of specialist tour operator Corsican Places, from Bristol, and Verona from Bristol on behalf of another specialist tour operator Inghams. During 2011 bmi regional aircraft operated, on behalf of BMI, direct flights between London Heathrow and Beja in the Alentejo region of Portugal for Sunvil Discovery.[11]


A BMI Regional Embraer 135
A BMI Regional Embraer 145

Current fleet[edit]

As of August 2015, the bmi Regional fleet consists of the following aircraft:[12]

BMI Regional Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Passengers
Embraer 135 4 37
Embraer 145 14 49
Total 18

Formerly operated[edit]


Year Total Passengers Total Flights Load Factor Passenger Change YoY
1997 97,188 22,615 59.4%
1998 231,083 23,395 56.7% Increase0137.8%
1999 329,388 20,967 58.8% Increase042.5%
2000 402,607 28,603 60.3% Increase022.2%
2001 457,001 30,675 56.9% Increase013.5%
2002 571,837 25,561 57.3% Increase025.1%
2003 781,283 28,556 58.1% Increase036.6%
2004 716,461 26,696 55.3% Decrease008.3%
2011 420,296 31,521 62.0% N/a
2012 382,037 27,062 59.3% Decrease009.1%
2013 447,975 20,543 49.1% Increase017.3%
2014 406,699 19,240 53.7% Decrease009.2%


  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "bmi regional Launches New Flight Code". bmi regional. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "ICAO Code". Eurocontrol. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Lufthansa buys final 20%
  5. ^ bmi restructures mainline and bmi regional operations
  6. ^ "Sale of bmi regional completed". bmi regional. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Airliner World: 6. May 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Type A Operating Licence Holders". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Bmi Regional". Airliner World: 7. March 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "G-INFO (UK civil aircraft register database)". Civil Aviation Authority. 22 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "UK Airline Statistics | Data | Economic Regulation". UK CAA. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to BMI Regional at Wikimedia Commons