BMI Regional to open first new routes as independent

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UK carrier BMI Regional is to open two new routes, one domestic and one international, its first network expansion since investors acquired the airline during the break-up of BMI.

BMI Regional will operate a Manchester-Antwerp and a Bristol-Aberdeen service, both twice-daily, from 29 October.

"We believe the introduction of these new routes alongside maintaining our existing services demonstrates a clear statement of our intent to develop the business," says chairman Ian Woodley.

BMI Regional will use Embraer regional jets for the new services. The carrier was acquired from International Airlines Group in May when it took over BMI's ownership from Lufthansa.

The carrier is operating under a "transition agreement" with BMI but states that it will become a "fully-independent" airline from 28 October. The carrier has been recruiting additional personnel and is preparing to move into a new office at East Midlands airport.

BMI Regional is also planning to disclose more new services which will begin in 2013 and, it says, "significantly" increase connectivity across the UK.