UK carrier BMI is in discussions to take over shuttle operations between Airbus' manufacturing plants.

Airbus has opted not to renew the contract of British regional operator Eastern Airways which flies the airframer's personnel between its Broughton and Filton manufacturing sites.

Eastern had been employed to shuttle Airbus staff with 29-seat British Aerospace Jetstream 41 turboprops "as and when they required" for a number of years.

But an Eastern spokesman says: "We have been given notice by Airbus of a change of operator as they're adopting a different approach to their flying programme and the Jetstream 41 operation is not appropriate for what they want to do going forward."

Airbus is in talks with BMI to pick up the business with 49-seat Embraer ERJ-145 jets.

"BMI Regional is in discussions to operate a shuttle service for Airbus," confirms the airline.

ERJ-145 jets would not only offer higher capacity but additional range for any other routes that Airbus might require.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news