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Unsustainable route suspended

Glasgow-Heathrow route axed by BMI

Jan 31, 2011

Flights between Glasgow and Heathrow have been suspended by BMI, the carrier announced.

The airline said "a number of employees" are at risk of redundancy following the decision to withdraw its seven daily flights from March 27.

UKPA reports that the firm blamed an increase in BAA charges for domestic passengers, which it said makes the loss-making route "unsustainable".

Coupled with the cost of an additional regulator fee, the airline said the charges being imposed on it have risen from £13 per passenger to £22.

BMI said domestic passengers are being charged the same as international passengers and lodged a complaint against BAA, alleging "discrimination".

In a statement on Monday, BMI added: "Unfortunately due to the suspension of the Glasgow route a number of employees at Glasgow will be at risk of redundancy.

"The company has today commenced a 30-day formal consultation process with employees and the relevant unions to try and reduce the number of redundancies as much as possible, and will offer a large number of redeployment options within BMI."

According to UKPA, BMI said it is "committed" to Scotland and will continue to focus on Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Belfast City airports, each operating six times a day.

A "stronger focus" will be put on international routes. The decision to suspend the route coincides with the announcement of new routes from Heathrow to Bergen and Stavanger in Norway, and to Casablanca and Marrakech in Morocco for summer.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said on Monday: "Today's news from BMI is obviously very disappointing for Glasgow. In my discussions with the chief executive it has been clear that this commercial decision has been taken reluctantly, based on underlying issues on the route. The route does not appear to have been commercially viable for BMI for some time."

Glasgow-Heathrow route axed by BMI
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Source: UKPA

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