On May 28 2011, BMIbaby, a low-cost subsidiary of British Midland International (BMI), will begin flying from East Midlands Airport to the Balearic Island of Ibiza. The airline will also add a route to the city of Verona in Northern Italy, the setting of Shakespeare’s most famous work, Romeo and Juliet.
In a similar fashion to its rivals, British Airways and Flybe, BMIbaby has pounced on the opportunity to attract summer bookings early, by selling tickets for 2011’s routes long before the New Year ushers in another 12 months of budget cuts, unreliable public transport, and wintry weather that could turn a penguin’s beak blue. Known as ‘forward bookings,’ advance sales also give an airline some idea of how a route is going to perform, long before any planes roll onto the runway.
BMIbaby, which likes to affix the word ‘baby’ to its advertisements (as in, “swap your scarf for your shades, baby!”), as well as its name, will become the only airline at East Midlands to offer a flight to Verona when the flights go live next year. In fact, BMIbaby has no competition whatsoever in Northern Italy, as the airline also carries the only route from the Castle Donnington hub to Venice.
The Ibiza route will operate three times a week from the Midlands, on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, whereas Verona will be served twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday. BMIbaby is also adding flights from Manchester to Palma, Majorca, on May 27, and from Cardiff to Ibiza on May 28 2011. Julian Carr, director at BMIbaby, said of the new routes, “Verona is a beautiful city, the gateway to Northern Italy and the stunning Lake Garda.” Mr Carr noted that the second destination, Ibiza, was more than just a “party island,” offering idyllic beaches and “breath-taking architecture in the Old Town.”
BMIbaby has also introduced routes from East Midlands to Munich and Cologne (Köln) in recent weeks. The two destinations, which are both in Germany, entered circulation on September 17 and October 31 respectively.