Posted on: 03 August 2015 by Ross McSweeny
A new holding company, Airline Investments Limited (AIL), has acquired shares in bmi regional and Loganair to form a regional airline group to be led by Peter Simpson (pictured), who will become group CEO of the combined businesses.Whilst each carrier will continue to operate as a distinct business and brand, the new structure aims to provide natural efficiencies and economies of scale that will enhance both carriers.Combined, AIL Group will have a turnover of around £200 million and 960 employees, with 46 aircraft carrying approximately 1.5 million passengers each year, flying 47 routes across 10 countries across Europe.“The opportunity to run the AIL Group, building on the turnaround programme at bmi regional and the continued success of Loganair is very exciting. The AIL Group now has substantial size and reach; each brand has tremendous partnerships in their respective market,” stated Simpson. “The two airlines operate in clear niche markets in vital roles such as feeding traffic to mainline carrier networks like Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and British Airways, with Loganair operating a successful franchise with major regional carrier Flybe. The opportunity now is to build on the synergies between the two sister airlines and deliver great benefits to our customers and partners alike.”Simpson, who has been leading bmi regional since March this year, was previously managing director of British Airways at Gatwick Airport. Before that his roles included group managing director of BMI following the acquisition of the business from Lufthansa, which led to the successful integration of BMI’s mainline business into British Airways. He also oversaw the sale of bmi regional from a subsidiary of BMI into an independently-owned airline in the same year. Simpson also has experience as MD of BA CityFlyer, having launched the airline and driven its successful expansion at London City Airport since its inception in 2007.The duo behind AIL is Stephen and Peter Bond, previous owners of Bond Aviation in the UK and original investors of Alliance Airlines in Australia.