Bye bye bmibaby at Belfast City, Birmingham, East Midlands; Aer Lingus, Flybe, Jet2.com and Monarch stepping in

Bye bye baby

Having found no buyer for the British low-cost airline bmibaby, British Airways has now closed down the bmi subsidiary, but Flybe, Jet2.com, Aer Lingus, Monarch, Ryanair and easyJet are already stepping in to fill some of the void at bmibaby’s three bases.

Last weekend, the British low-cost airline bmibaby operated its last ever flights. The airline, set up by parent company bmi British Midland in the summer of 2002, has operated over 150 routes during its 10 years using a fleet of 737-300s and -500s. Last year the airline handled some 2.2 million passengers, just over half of what it managed during its busiest year in 2007.

Operated from six bases but only three this summer

bmibaby has operated from six UK bases at various times during the last decade, although only East Midlands has been served with flights every season. Last year, the airline decided to close its Cardiff and Manchester bases to focus on just three bases; at Belfast City airport, Birmingham and East Midlands. Growth at Belfast and East Midlands followed the withdrawal of Ryanair (from Belfast City) and easyJet (from East Midlands).

bmibaby route network Number of routes from each base by season S02-S12

Source: anna.aero LCC history database

Flybe and Jet2.com already filling East Midlands vacuum

Since bmibaby announced it would close in early September, other carriers, notably Flybe and Jet2.com, have been busy announcing replacement services from East Midlands Airport. Some of these new services will launch this winter (Amsterdam, Jersey and Paris) while others will start next summer. A full list of bmibaby’s East Midlands services and the competitive environment are shown in the following table.

EMA Route bmibaby
WF S12
Existing competition (WF) New carriers
Alghero (AHO) 2 -
Alicante (ALC) 11 Jet2.com (5), Ryanair (10), TA (2), TCA (1)
Almeria (LEI) 3 Ryanair (2)
Amsterdam (AMS) 13 - Flybe (6 from W12)
Barcelona (BCN) 5 Ryanair (7)
Belfast City (BHD) 18 Flybe (24)
Catania (CTA) 1 -
Cologne/Bonn (CGN) 4 -
Corfu (CFU) 1 Jet2.com (1), Ryanair (1), TA (2), TCA (1)
Dubrovnik (DBV) 3 - Jet2.com (1 from 5 May 13)
Edinburgh (EDI) 11 - Flybe (18 from 10 Sep 12)
Faro (FAO) 9 Jet2.com (4), Ryanair (5), TA (1)
Geneva (GVA) 2 - Jet2.com (1 from 15 Dec 12)
Gibraltar (GIB) 3 -
Glasgow (GLA) 11 - Flybe (18 from 10 Sep 12)
Ibiza (IBZ) 3 Ryanair (3), TA (3), TCA (1) Jet2.com (2 from 24 May 13)

Monarch (5 from 23 May 13)

Jersey (JER) 7 - Flybe (3 from W12)
Mahon (MAH) 5 Thomson Airways (2) Jet2.com (2 from 17 May 13)
Malaga (AGP) 13 Jet2.com (5), Ryanair (12)
Malta (MLA) 2 Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
Murcia (MJV) 2 Jet2.com (2), Ryanair (5)
Naples (NAP) 2 Thomson Airways (1)
Newquay (NQY) 2 -
Nice (NCE) 5 - Jet2.com (3 from 2 May 13)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 12 Jet2.com (5), Ryanair (11), TA (5), TCA (3)
Paris CDG (CDG) 9 - Flybe (12 from W12)
Venice (VCE) 4 -
Verona (VRN) 2 -
Source: OAG Max Online and anna.aero new route database
TA: Thomson Airways, TCA: Thomas Cook Airlines

Birmingham only loses Lisbon and Prague

At Birmingham, 11 of bmibaby’s 13 routes were already served by at least one other carrier this summer with Lisbon and Prague the exceptions. Passengers wanting to travel to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Belfast, each of which was served by just one other carrier this summer, will again have a choice of two carriers next summer as Flybe launches Amsterdam service against KLM, Ryanair will compete with Monarch on Barcelona, and easyJet will start flights to Belfast International to provide competition with Flybe’s services to Belfast City. A full list of bmibaby’s Birmingham services and the competitive environment are shown in the following table.

BHX Route bmibaby
WF S12
Existing competition (WF) New carriers
Alicante (ALC) 6 Monarch (10), Ryanair (7), TA (2)
Amsterdam (AMS) 13 KLM (35) Flybe (16 from 28 Oct 12)
Barcelona (BCN) 4 Monarch (4) Ryanair (4 from 7 Nov 12)
Belfast City (BHD) 14 Flybe (38) easyJet (7 to BFS, 22 Oct 12)
Faro (FAO) 5 Monarch (9), Ryanair (3), TCA (1), TA (2)
Knock (NOC) 6 Aer Lingus (7)
Lisbon (LIS) 2 -
Malaga (AGP) 8 Monarch (14), Ryanair (9), TA (1)
Murcia (MJV) 4 Ryanair (4)
Nice (NCE) 7 Monarch (7)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 7 Monarch (11), Ryanair (6), TA (7)
Prague (PRG) 3 -
Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 4 Monarch (7)
Source: OAG Max Online and anna.aero new route database
TA: Thomson Airways, TCA: Thomas Cook Airlines

Aer Lingus steps in at Belfast City

At Belfast City five of bmibaby’s seven international services will be lost, with Aer Lingus switching its seasonal Faro and Malaga flights from Belfast International to Belfast City starting next summer. It is also moving its London Heathrow service across as well starting a new London Gatwick service.

BHD Route bmibaby
WF S12
Existing competition (WF) New carriers
Alicante (ALC) 3 -
Amsterdam (AMS) 4 -
Birmingham (BHX) 13 Flybe (38)
East Midlands (EMA) 17 Flybe (24)
Faro (FAO) 2 - Aer Lingus (7 from 31 Mar 13)
Ibiza (IBZ) 1 -
London Stansted (STN) 11 - Aer Lingus (21 to LGW from 28 Oct 12)
Aer Lingus (21 to LHR from 28 Oct 12)
Mahon (MAH) 2 -
Malaga (AGP) 3 - Aer Lingus (7 from 31 Mar 13)
Palma de Mallorca (PMI) 2 -
Source: OAG Max Online and anna.aero new route database

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