British Midland Regional (flybmi) Has Ceased Operations & Filed For Administration

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British Midland Regional that has traded under flybmi name has today ceased all operations and filed for administration.

BMI Regional

This regional airline was previously subsidiary of BMI (British Midland International) that British Airways acquired from Lufthansa and folded to itself. Flybmi continued to fly under its own code and provide services to other airlines as well.

Here’s the announcement from flybmi:

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.

Conclusion

Flybmi was a small airline and had 17 regional planes but provided important connectivity within and to/from regions in the UK.

It seems to be tough times for the smaller airlines at the moment considering the number of recent collapses. Remember to always pay for your airline ticket purchases using a credit card in order to be covered in an unfortunate situation such as this.

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