British regional carrier flybmi, formerly branded as bmi regional and registered as ‘British Midland Regional Limited’, has suspended operations. All flights have been cancelled.
Flybmi cited rising fuel costs, as well as uncertainties and a lack of contracts, caused by the UK’s Brexit plans, as key reasons for today’s announcement to shut down with immediate effect.
The airline was operating a fleet of 17 Embraer ERJ-135 and -145 regional jets on European short-haul routes, mostly in the United Kingdom and Germany, where it had a codeshare agreement with Lufthansa. It had several operational bases in England and Scotland, as well as Brussels and Munich, and employed a total of 376 people.
Passengers affected by the sudden shutdown are advised to not come to the airport, as all flights have been cancelled and flybmi itself is unable to compensate or rebook customers. Travellers that have booked their flights via a partner airline (those include Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Loganair and more) or a travel agency should contact the respective company immediately to rearrange journeys.
Flybmi is not the first airline of its kind to shut down. Several European airlines, especially smaller ones with operations based on regional and/or charter flights, have faced major issues during the past months. Less than two weeks ago, Germania, a German charter and leisure airline, ceased operations. Last month, British regional carrier Flybe (not to be confused with flybmi) confirmed that it is being sold to a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic, after facing financial difficulties.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.