Flight International Online news 11:30GMT: UK carrier BMI is to shed up to 30% of its engineering workforce by consolidating its maintenance operation at three bases, each of which will concentrate on a particular fleet type within the airline.

From next March it will focus its Airbus maintenance at London Heathrow while its Boeing 737 jets – operated by BMIbaby – will be maintained at Nottingham East Midlands Airport.

Engineering for the airline’s Embraer regional aircraft, which BMI transferred away from East Midlands two years ago, will remain at Aberdeen in Scotland.

But the decision will result in the company’s cutting up to 185 jobs across its 650-strong engineering workforce. The restructuring follows a seven-month review of the carrier’s maintenance operation.

Engineers and support staff will be affected by the cuts, all of which will take place at Nottingham East Midlands, from where the company is withdrawing from third-party maintenance.

But BMI is hoping that creation of 20 additional positions at London Heathrow, plus voluntary redundancies, will mean it will ultimately have to axe fewer than 100 staff. It has opened discussions with workers’ representatives.

By establishing a dedicated Airbus engineering centre at Heathrow, from where it operates Airbus types exclusively, the carrier says that it can increase its engineering efficiency. The airline adds that it will also be able to explore the potential for developing third-party line maintenance at the hub.

“By focusing our engineering functions in this way we are removing unnecessary duplication,” says BMI engineering director Ian Davies.

Consolidation of the Airbus and Boeing maintenance at two locations will enable the airline to extend the practice of ‘equalising’ maintenance to its mainline fleet: implementing a more continuous programme of engineering which, it hopes, will improve its overall maintenance efficiency.


Source: Flight International