29/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 12:57

Consumer Council in bmibaby call

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 4th May 2012 06:19:07

The Consumer Council is calling on bmibaby to do all it can to help passengers after it announced it is to pull out of Belfast City Airport.

Thousands of people have had summer holiday plans ruined with the news.

The budget airline will cease flights from 11 June. It was taken over last month and the new owners said they had to act in the face of big losses.

They apologised to all affected customers and said they would provide full refunds.

Scott Kennerley of the Consumer Council said: "Passengers already booked on a bmibaby flight will naturally be very concerned and wondering what their rights are.

"Passengers are entitled to a full refund if they are unable to make suitable alternative arrangements with bmibaby.

"Passengers who have booked a package holiday that includes a flight with the airline will also be protected under the ATOL scheme and should contact their travel agent.

"If a holidaymaker is in any doubt whether their holiday is protected by ATOL they should check with the agent who they booked the package with."

Bmibaby transferred to the ownership of International Airlines Group (IAG) last month. It has entered talks with unions about its future.

Bmibaby said it would not affect bmi mainline's service from Belfast to London Heathrow.

Peter Simpson, bmi interim managing director, said the company had lost £100m in the last four years and would have to be "realistic" about its options.

"We recognise that these are unsettling times for bmibaby employees, who have worked tirelessly during a long period of uncertainty.

"To help stem losses as quickly as possible and as a preliminary measure, we will be making reductions to bmibaby's flying programme from June."

One passenger who had booked a flight with bmibaby, Maria Kennedy, told the BBC: "I felt almost sick. I just thought we're not going to get going on holiday.

"And then panic, because everybody else was going to be in the same boat, so everybody will be looking flights all over Europe, so obviously the flights will go up as well.

"It was just awful, it was just a really nauseating feeling."

She has since booked flights with another airline but had to pay more to do so.

George Best Belfast City Airport confirmed 420,000 of its passengers had flown with bmibaby in 2011.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Consumer Council in bmibaby call [Online] (Updated 4th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426454/Consumer-Council-in-bmibaby-call [Accessed 29th Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Alfie Sullock death: Michael Pearce guilty of manslaughter

    A babysitter who battered a six-week-old baby from Cardiff with a shoe and plastic bottle, causing extensive brain damage, has been found guilty of manslaughter.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Tarka the Otter writer's hut granted Grade II status

    A hut used by Tarka the Otter author Henry Williamson has been granted Grade II listed status by English Heritage.
  • East Sussex NHS finance head jailed for £2.2m fraud

    A former head of financial accounting at two NHS trusts has been jailed for stealing £2.2m of NHS funds to buy 11 properties in Sussex and London.
  • Mortgage approvals back on the rise, says Bank of England

    The number of people taking out mortgages is back on the rise, according to figures from the Bank of England.
  • Martin Conmey conviction over Una Lynskey 'miscarriage of justice'

    A court in the Republic of Ireland has declared that a man's conviction for killing his teenage neighbour over 40 years ago was a miscarriage of justice.