Bmibaby takes final flight after annual losses of £25 million, 450 jobs to go

by Emily DUNBAR on September 10, 2012

Bmibaby has made its last-ever flight after over 10 years in the tourism industry.

The no-frills carrier was established in 2002 but IAG, British Airways’ parent company, opted to close it down after its June takeover of BMI . The airline’s final service, flight WW5330 from the Spanish city of Malaga to the UK’s East Midlands airport, touched down at 22.45 on Sunday evening in fitting circumstances as Bmibaby’s first flight flew between the same destinations.

Around 450 staff are to be made redundant by the closing down of Bmibaby, although Monarch will be taking over a string of the airline’s routes while hoping to create 150 jobs. Any other routes will be taken over by Flybe or Jet2.com.

In the months after its launch, the carrier became Britain’s third-biggest low-cost airline. At the height of its game, Bmibaby served destinations including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prague, Alicante and Rome from its main hub at Leicestershire’s East Midlands Airport.

Further bases were opened in Cardiff Airport, Durham Tees Valley Airport and Manchester  International Airport in 2003, while one in Birmingham came two years after in 2005. Due to insufficient passenger numbers, operations had to be cancelled at Durham Tees Valley in 2006.

During its final four years of operation, the airline lost £25 million per year on average and was purchased by IAG. After being closed down, Bmibaby joined a list of other budget carriers  that buckled before it, including Zoom Airlines, Silverjet, Laker Airways, Go Fly, XL Airways and Flyglobespan.

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