BMI Regional is the most punctual scheduled airline in the UK, according to independent website, flightontime.info. The results mark the sixth time that Regional has retained the accolade, shrugging off competition from rival airlines, such as Ryanair, Air France, and British Airways (BA).
According to the airline’s website, BMI Regional offers 13 destinations from airports in Scotland and the North of England. The carrier wears the blue and white livery of British Midland International, and provides predominantly domestic services. BMI Regional is, therefore, very similar to BA CityFlyer, an airline that operates out of London City Airport. Both CityFlyer and BMI Regional favour Embraer jets, as opposed to the larger Boeing and Airbus planes operated by their parent companies.
During 2010, the average delay on a BMI Regional flight was 7.1 minutes, compared to 13.7 minutes with Ryanair, and an embarrassing 35.5 minutes with Leeds-based airline, Jet2. The most punctual carriers after Regional were Eastern Airways (average delay of 8.3 minutes), CityJet (8.8mins), VLM (8.9mins), and KLM (9.3mins). Wallowing in the doldrums, but above Jet2 in 35th place, were Monarch Scheduled (30.4mins), Virgin Atlantic (26.2mins), and Spanish carrier, Iberia (25.2mins). Overall, the larger airlines operating out of UK airports performed poorly against companies that could hardly be considered rivals, in terms of fleet size and passenger numbers.
BMI Regional’s penchant for promptness is not confined to its own aeroplanes, however. The carrier’s parent, British Midland International, was the most punctual airline at Heathrow Airport in 2010, according to Reuters, with almost 80% of flights experiencing little or no delays. Surprisingly, the results for both surveys included statistics from April and December 2010, months that were affected by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and heavy snowfall, respectively.