Airline bmi sees profits halve

[23rd May 2008]

bmi flight

Pre-tax profits for airline bmi for 2007 were down 47.8% to £15.5 million, but the acquisition of airline BMED in November allowed bmi to continue to expand at Heathrow airport.

"The decision to acquire BMED enabled the bmi group to accelerate significantly its expansion into mid haul markets from Heathrow where substantial growth opportunities exist. BMED and its route network are already having a positive impact upon the business and will bring substantial benefits to the bmi group in the future," says bmi chairman, Sir Michael Bishop.

Passenger numbers in 2007 increased only marginally, up just 1% to 10.6 million and load factors were down 4% to 67.4%. But revenue was up 12.9% to £1,022.6 million and debt was reduced by 14% to £49 million.

The airline admits that things are unlikely to get better in the near future. “Our underlying trading performance continues to be resilient against a background of difficult trading conditions throughout the aviation industry. The prospects for any significant immediate improvement remain unlikely, but we continue to invest for future growth and are well equipped to achieve it,” says Bishop.

New mid haul flights to Tel Aviv and Dammam have been launched this year, but bmi says it does not have any plans at present to launch new flights to the USA. "The mid haul network we acquired on acquisition of BMED provides significant opportunities for profitable growth. For this reason, despite the advent of Open Skies, we do not plan any services from London Heathrow to the United States in the short term, although they remain within our medium term strategic thinking," says CEO, Nigel Turner.

There are three airlines in the bmi group - bmi mainline, bmi regional and bmibaby. The latter is now the largest low cost airline in the Midlands.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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Airline Bmi Sees Profits Halve