Air Transport World

Point-to-point Regional: BA CitiExpress follows the traditional Regional model linking key business centers.(Regionals)

In March 2002, British Airways took a decisive step in combining four of its Regional operators under a single entity, BA CitiExpress, as part of a grand scheme of improving efficiency, reducing costs and bolstering the operating margin (ATW, 6/02, p. 29). "I think the story of the last two years has been one of consolidation," CitiExpress MD David Evans tells ATW. "There were significant challenges to bring four airlines into one."

It was indeed ambitious, but it was required as part of the company's overall strategy to streamline operations and reduce costs. The move consolidated British Airways Regional based in Birmingham and Manchester, Brymon Airways of Bristol and former franchise partners British Regional Airlines Group and Manx Airlines. Though they all worked for BA, they operated disparate fleets on routes that sometimes overlapped.

Now the fleet has been pared down and the routes rationalized as part of the consolidation. Over the past 18 months, 14 new routes were launched. The number of domestic routes was reduced while inter-European service was expanded. For instance, CitiExpress now serves Paris from its Manchester base as well as from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Bristol. …

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