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Heathrow charges attacked as bmi scraps flights

The MD of the second largest airline at Heathrow, bmi, has criticised airport charges as flights to Leeds Bradford airport and Inverness are scrapped.

bmi’s daily service from Heathrow to Inverness will be axed from 30 March. “The inflation-busting airport charge increases that have been implemented at Heathrow over the last few years – which are set to grow even faster from April 2008 – puts further pressure on short haul services like Inverness,” says bmi MD, Peter Spencer.

Spencer goes on to thank Inverness airport for their efforts to keep the route open. “We acknowledge the efforts that Inverness airport has made to assist bmi in the continuation of the route through the level of fees at Inverness airport. We also appreciate their lobbying regarding proposed fees and increases at Heathrow and the disproportionate structure of charging adopted by BAA,” he said.

bmi is also reducing flights between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford airport to four a day, suspending the late evening flight. Summer only flights to Alicante and Nice have also been axed.

However, bmi is adding another daily flight on its first mid haul route to Moscow Domodedovo, which it launched in October 2006. The new daily flight will depart from Heathrow at 22.10 and arrive in Moscow at 05.00, with the return flight leaving Moscow at 06.45 and arriving at Heathrow at 07.50. There will also be another late evening flight from Heathrow to Manchester airport, bringing the total to eight flights a day.

bmi has also announced its biggest ever sale on flights booked by 13 January. Fares on offer (including taxes) include Heathrow to Palma from £38 one way, Heathrow to Las Vegas from £340 return, Manchester to Venice from £60 one way, Manchester to Antigua from £339 return, and Edinburgh to Chicago from £300 return.

Written by: Nick Purdom