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bmi regional trading update and 2014 outlook

January 2014: Last year marked the first full year of independent operations for bmi regional since ceasing to be a subsidiary of the bmi Group in June 2012. 2013 was one of significant development and investment for bmi regional as it launched new routes, created new jobs and retained its title of the UK's most punctual airline for the ninth consecutive year*.

Highlights in 2013 include:
• Flying more than 10 million kilometres and carrying almost 500,000 passengers;

• Launching a range of successful routes from Bristol, Birmingham and Aberdeen and also from Bremen to Toulouse, its first ever service on the continent, to position the airline for growth outside of the UK;

• Launching a wide range of new services providing improved connectivity to the oil and gas industry, including Kristiansund and Oslo in Norway to Aberdeen;

• Doubling of the private charter and corporate shuttle business – catering for major corporates, oil and gas clients, sports teams and entertainment headliners;

• Awarded Airline of the Year at the prestigious European Region Airlines Association (ERAA) Annual Awards in Salzburg, Austria;

• Achieving the accolade of most punctual airline in the UK for the ninth consecutive year ahead of airlines including British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet and Flybe;

• Recognised as easiest airline website to book in the UK, according to research undertaken by the editorial team of Daily Telegraph, based on the number of mouse clicks and time taken to book a flight, beating 12 other short-haul UK airlines**;

• Developing its contract flying capability, operating on behalf of other carriers through wet-lease: the airline commenced flying for Swedish regional carrier Flyglinjen between Kristianstad and Stockholm Arlanda, as a result of the reputation for operational excellence and the quality of the bmi regional brand;

• Created almost 100 new jobs across its operation, in particular East Midlands, Aberdeen and Bristol, supporting its core infrastructure and network expansion.

Cathal O'Connell, Chief Executive, bmi regional, said: "Last year was one of significant development and investment to establish bmi regional from a subsidiary of a group to a standalone business. We’ve rebuilt our infrastructure and systems and reshaped our operating network to focus on profitable routes which enables us to continue our growth into 2014. We have built Bristol into a major new base, targeted the growing oil and gas business through our increased Aberdeen network and created almost 100 new jobs in Bristol, Aberdeen and the Midlands.”

Highlights for the airline in the first quarter of 2014 include:

• January 2014: the airline introduced a range of new services in Scandinavia, launching new routes from Stavanger in Norway supported directly from the Aberdeen base. This major expansion specifically targets the oil and gas industry in the region;

• February 2014: bmi regional doubled capacity on its Aberdeen – Oslo route, which has already proven a big success with the oil and gas business in Aberdeen and Oslo;

• March 2014: launch of Newcastle-Brussels service, connecting the north-east of the UK with the rest of the world through Brussels, and providing the only direct flight for from the north east of England to the capital of Belgium;

• First codeshare since independence, with Brussels Airlines on Newcastle-Brussels route;

• Codeshare with Lufthansa on Bristol to Frankfurt and Munich services.

O'Connell concluded: “We’re an airline on the move and this year represents the start of a new era for us. Being one of the youngest airlines in Europe our advantage is that we’re able to maximise growth through a mix of organic expansion and partnerships”.

End

Media contact:
Cass Helstrip, +(44)7968 255 464, cass.helstrip@whitetigerpr.com
Rob Bates, +(44)7957 316491, rob.bates@whitetigerpr.com

Notes to Editors
*See http://flightontime.info/scheduled/scheduled.html
**See website: http://bit.ly/120cNVw

About bmi regional

bmi regional operates an all-jet fleet comprising 18 Embraer 135 and 145 aircraft. The airline now operates more than 300 scheduled flights a week across a network of 20 destinations in eight European countries and employs more than 400 staff. bmi regional has held the title of the UK’s most punctual airline for the past nine consecutive years, most recently in 2013.

Its scheduled network includes Stavanger, Oslo, Harstad-Narvik Airport (Evenes), Kristiansund in Norway, Brussels in Belgium; Esbjerg in Denmark; Toulouse in France; Bremen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich in Germany; Milan in Italy; Gothenburg in Sweden, and Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Manchester, Newcastle and Norwich in the UK.