September 26, 2022
Pond Hopping – The Story of bmi’s Transatlantic Operations
History Special

Pond Hopping – The Story of bmi’s Transatlantic Operations

DALLAS – For many years, UK carrier bmi (BD) was a thorn in the side of flag-carrier British Airways (BA). BD was the second biggest operator at BA’s London Heathrow (LHR) fortress. But one area where bmi could not compete was on the lucrative transatlantic routes.

For many years, its owner, Sir Michael Bishop, battled against authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to gain access to these coveted services.

Derby Airways purchased its first Douglas DC-3 in 1955. Photo: Ken Fielding/ BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia. Commons


Bmi can trace its history back to 1938 and the formation of Air Schools LTD. In 1959, the name was changed to Derby Airways after the introduction of scheduled flights.

On October 1, 1964, Derby Airways was rebranded again to British Midland Airways, and the carrier gradually expanded its operations on domestic and European routes.

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Featured Image: bmi’s hopes of becoming a key player in the transatlantic market never really took off. Photo: Dale Coleman (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

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

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