This weekend sees the final flights for bmibaby.
The closure comes as IAG (British Airways and Iberia’s parent company) was unable to find a suitable buyer for the discount arm of the bmi business, which it purchased earlier this year.
“After a review of options for bmibaby and following formal consultation with union and employee representatives, the business will be closed, with the last flight departing September 9,” IAG said in a statement on its August traffic figures.
London-based IAG purchased bmi in April and the group began discussions about shutting down unwanted bmibaby operations the following month.
Based in the East Midlands and Birmingham, the airline competed with other low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet.
The carrier operated 14 Boeing Co. (BA) 737 aircraft and flew to 23 European destinations, with more than 700 services a week during the peak season.
A number of airlines – Monarch Airlines, Flybe and Jet2 – have stepped in to take over the routes that bmibaby used to fly.
The airline launched ten years ago, shortly after BA launched its no-frills airline Go. At the time of its launch the executive behind the airline said that it would be an “independent and valuable addition to the bmi family,” before adding that it would have a “long and successful future”.
Speaking in May, Peter Simpson, bmi interim managing director, reflected on the airline’s positive track record, while accepting that he had to be realistic about the airline’s future.
“bmibaby has delivered high levels of operational performance and customer service, but has continued to struggle financially, losing more than £100m in the last four years,” he said.
On its website bmibaby bid a fond farewell to passengers: “Thanks to everyone who has flown with us over the years. It’s been so much fun baby!”