BMI has announced that it is to cut flights from Cardiff Airport this winter, as reported in the South Wales Echo. The decision comes as a result of the recent surges in the cost of oil, and the airline has stated that it needs to act with care in order to protect its long-term future.
Julian Carr, the commercial director of BMI, said that cutbacks were an unfortunate but necessary course of action. He claimed that BMI wants to expand its flights from the airport in the future but that “this winter is not the winter for taking risks.”
He also said that the cutbacks would not be drastic, stating that BMI would focus on reducing the number of flights to existing destinations rather than withdrawing routes entirely. However, as the winter schedule has not yet been finalised, this could still change.
This winter carries on BMI’s pattern of flight reductions from Cardiff over the last few years. Between winter 2006-07 and the following year, the number of flights went down from 150 flights a week to 124. At the moment, only 19 flights have been axed, although this number is expected to increase to the same level as last year’s figures.
BMI has also denied that these cutbacks come in response to Flybe’s arrival at the airport, and states that it is purely in relation to the uncertain economic times posed by oil prices. The fact that both airlines are present is a good thing for customers, according to Steve Hodgetts, the business director of Cardiff Airport. He said: “If bmibaby does choose to cut back from its current frequencies, then Flybe will offer the consumer continued choice.”