The move further strengthens Brussels Airlines’ network presence in the United Kingdom and is the second codeshare agreement between the two airlines, the first – on bmi regional’s new Brussels to Newcastle route – launched in March. The timetable (departures from East Midlands at 7.10am every weekday and 4.40pm every day except Saturday; departures from Brussels at 9.55am every weekday and 7.40pm every day except Saturday) enables passengers to combine the East Midlands service with Brussels Airlines destinations including New York; business hubs in Africa such as Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya; and European destinations such as Berlin, Geneva, Milan, Rome and Vienna.
The codeshare is valid for all flights from East Midlands to destinations on the Brussels Airlines network such as Rome, New York or Kinshasa. East Midlands to Brussels tickets will continue to be sold purely as bmi regional flights on their own.
bmi regional operates the route using its all-jet Embraer fleet and service includes at-seat full bar and meal service in addition to 30-minute check-in and 20kg hold baggage. Last year, bmi regional was named “Silver Airline of the Year” at the European Regions Airline Association (ERAA) annual awards in Austria and is noted as the most punctual scheduled airline in the UK for nine consecutive years, according to independent data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
“We are delighted to add East Midlands to our growing European network thanks to this new extension of our partnership with bmi regional. The direct flight serving East Midlands is good news for Brussels Airlines passengers and for travellers based in the region as the codeshare creates new travel opportunities via Brussels to and from many of our destinations in Europe, Africa and the USA.”
-- Filip Puissant, Brussels Airlines Alliances Manager
“Our latest codeshare agreement ensures that our customers from the East Midlands region now enjoy the convenience that comes with links to 52 countries served by Brussels Airlines. This new link will bring considerable commercial benefit to the region, not least making it easier for potential overseas investors and trade partners to visit, and our schedule allows business travellers to make return trips between the two airports in one day, ideal for meetings and conferences. The partnership also brings potential benefit to regional tourism centres including Nottingham, Sherwood Forest the Derbyshire Peak District.”
-- Cathal O’Connell, CEO of bmi regional
“We’re delighted with the news today that passengers can now travel onwards to over 50 countries worldwide with bmi regional and Brussels Airlines. Increasing connectivity from East Midlands Airport is something that we are committed to and this agreement shows there is solid demand for a codeshare service from both business and leisure travellers from the East Midlands region.”
-- Andy Cliffe, Managing Director East Midlands Airport
Including East Midlands, Brussels Airlines now offers its passengers a total of seven connections in the UK: East Midlands, Newcastle, London Heathrow, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh are all served by Brussels Airlines.
bmi regional now operates three codeshare partnerships: Newcastle International Airport and East Midlands to Brussels with Brussels Airlines, and Bristol to Frankfurt and Munich with Lufthansa.