2/16/2019: UK Regional Carrier flybmi Ceases Operations

2/16/2019: UK Regional Carrier flybmi Ceases Operations

DALLAS — Today, in 2019, UK regional operator flybmi (BM) filed for “unavoidable” administration and ceased operations. 

Speaking at the time, a spokesperson said that the “Current trading and future prospects have…been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the ‘Brexit’ process.” 

Business Air commenced operations on August 15, 1987. Photo: Ken Fielding/https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfieldingCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Back to Business


flybmi can trace its history back to 1987 and a small Aberdeen-based (ABZ) airline, Business Air. British Midland Airways (BD) purchased the company in May 1986 and rebranded it as British Midland Commuter. 

In February 2001, BD Commuter was rebranded as bmi regional, as its parent went through its rebranding. BM now had its management team and a fleet of 11 new Embraer ERJ-145s. It expanded its services as BD (now British Midland International bmi) moved its focus from the UK regions to London Heathrow to better compete with British Airways (BA). 

British Midland Commuter Saab 340 (G-GNTC) at Manchester Airport (MAN). Photo: RuthASCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Gaining Its Independence 


However, when BA took over BD in 20123, bmi regional was unwanted by the new owners. Enter Sector Aviation Holdings purchased the airline on June 1, 2012.

As a fully-fledged independent carrier, BM expanded its route network and fleet, operating 14 ERJ-145s plus three smaller ERJ-135s. Twenty-five destinations were served across Europe from bases in the UK, Munich, Germany, and Stavanger, Norway. Several “staff shuttles” were also operated for companies, including Airbus.

A final rebranding occurred on July 5, 2018, when bmi regional became flybmi. This aligned the airline with the website domain used. In its last year of operations, 522,000 passengers were carried on 29,000 flights. 


Featured image: A company spokesperson said of the rebranding: “The simplification of the brand and logo to flybmi retains investment in the current name and visual identity, which still references the rich history of the legacy flybmi brand.” Photo: flybmi

European Deputy Editor
Writer and aviation fanatic, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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