bmi regional has achieved exponential growth in its charter flying business in the past year, following its decision to focus on the market as part of its development strategy.
The airline has flown more than 260 charters this year, more than double what it flew for the whole year in 2013.
Headquartered in Aberdeen and East Midlands, bmi regional operates a scheduled network serving 20 destinations in seven countries but successfully identified an opportunity to use its fleet of Embraer jets to also meet demand for ad hoc charters.
The charter business now represents an important complementary area of the business, operating alongside bmi regional’s primary scheduled route network. It is now flying entertainment artists, car manufacturers, football and sports clubs, businesses and private individuals across Europe and beyond on a weekly basis.
bmi regional believes its 50-seat jets have helped it provide economical charter solutions to the market.
Graeme Ross, bmi regional Director of Business Development, said: “There were small business jets and 180-seat jets available in the charter market but not much around the 50-seat mark. Our aircraft fit that largely un-catered for size and are the ideal fit for a football club and its support staff, for example, or a company that needs to move 30 or 40 staff for an event or contract. When you compare the cost of achieving this via scheduled flights with overnight stops and hotels, plus the time involved, the charter option is very cost effective and time efficient.”
This year, bmi regional has flown as far afield as Keflavik, Iceland, in the north and Malaga, Spain in the south to the Canary Islands in the west and Lvov, Ukraine, in the east. Its longest distance charter this year was for a UK football team playing in Ukraine.