With events seemingly moving forward in the last 24hrs with regards to a disposal by Lufthansa of bmi, what does the future hold for Regional, in terms of jobs, equipment, routes & of course their Aberdeen HQ
Does it have a future, & who possibly would be interested in it? Anyone domestically, or could interest come from abroad?
Regional is a unique bit of the business, in that it apparently is profitable as a standalone unit. Certainly a few years back it was making money.
Who might want it? Well, as the article says there could be a bid or two from outside investors. One possibility is that Loganair, Eastern or Flybe could be interested too, so it could be added to their network. It's the way BMR
is structured that is interesting as it has it's own AOC
certificate so can be easily detatched from BD
and has some handy corporate work that helps. Even Airbus UK
use an Embraer on their corporate shuttle provided by BMR
It's always been an airline within an airline which makes a possible sale a lot easier, opening up the field to buyers who are not airlines themselves. Regional is certainly a lot healthier than Baby or mainline.
There could even be a shock offer, or Lufthansa could decide to keep it for themselves even if mainline is sold off and closed down. BA
won't be bidding for it either.
Lufthansa could look at it two ways of course. Either that they keep it as it makes money ferrying all those high yielding oil types out of ABZ
...or they sell it because it's the only bit of the business that they will get a good return on by selling! Personally, I would lean towards wanting to see Lufthansa keep it & develop it - because the history of stand-alone Scottish airlines......well, it ain't great.
You could argue that BMR
's strength has been in the standalone carrier field because they deliberately didn't get involved directly in the London scrabble. FlyBE
have done well avoiding LHR
It might well end up as a Lufthansa unit, called British Midland. LH
could parcel the mainline up and flog it to BA
for slot value, retaining the BD
name for the smaller operation. Stranger things have happened. BD
could even take on a few mainline aircraft for the non-London charter operations, although keeping it as a profitable Scottish airline would be more sensible.
Moves are afoot for Lufthansa to divest themselves of bmi R. Interesting times...
Ian Woodley...ex of Business Air. Full circle indeed!
And I think goodbye BD
if the comments by the bmi CEO are anything to go by...links to London airports OTHER than LHR
. Probably no surprise of course.
Wouldn't it be a shocker if the investors who have experience of the regional UK
business turned out to be Lord Bishop and his business partners buying back the profitable division of BD
The investment group looking at acquiring bmir is led by Ian Woodley, Graeme Ross and Robert Sturman. Ian and Co bought out an Australian regional airline called Aeropelican back in 2008.
Was posted on PPRUNE forums that Granite Aviation, the name lodged at Companies House (interestingly as far back as July) had yesterday signed the deal to buy Regional, following the 'due diligence' process.
Reports yesterday the deal has been done with 'a UK
buyer', subject to certain pre conditions. Who & what remain unknown - but presume it is the people behind Granite, rather than the likes of Flybe.
Hopefully some positive progress at last to report.