British airline group BMI is launching a range of new flight routes – and looks to be taking its different branches in contrasting directions.
The bmibaby low cost branch of the business has this week announced new flight routes from Manchester Airport to Iberian hotspots Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon, firmly cementing its presence at the north-west hub.
A recent route was added from Birmingham to Warsaw, responding to the rising population of Polish citizens in Britain and adding to the concentration of low cost European flights that bmibaby is now operating from the Midlands and the north-west.
BMI chief executive Nigel Turner told the Guardian: "They are classic niche routes. For a major carrier they would be number 314 or 315 on their agenda, but for BMI they are right at the top of our agenda and we see them as fundamental to our strategy - flying mid- and long-haul routes out of Heathrow."
As the second largest holder of Heathrow landing slots, BMI has recently been the subject of much takeover talk.