Regional airline BMI has axed its daily flights between Aberdeen and Norwich – Britain’s two ‘energy cities’ – on economic grounds.
The route was primarily used by businesspeople in the energy sector to shuttle between the East Anglian and east Scottish coasts.
The final flight will fly on 11 February 2018 – despite the recent upturn in global oil prices. BMI said it made decision to stop the route as it had become commercially un-viable.
A BMI spokesman said: “BMI regrets to confirm that it is cancelling its Aberdeen to Norwich service as of 12 February 2018.
“The airline reviews each of its routes on a regular basis and, due to changing market conditions, it can no longer maintain a sustainable commercial service on this route.
“Despite recent rises in oil prices, structural shifts in the oil and gas industry and the way it conducts business have resulted in a permanent change to passenger numbers between Aberdeen and Norwich.”
Customers who have booked directly with bmi for flights between Aberdeen and Norwich from 12 February 2018 onwards will be contacted by bmi and offered an alternative. Any customers who booked via a third party are advised to contact their agent and they will be offered a refund.
However, energy chiefs have described the move as ‘short-sighted’.
Simon Gray, chief executive of East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), said: “While things are not wonderful they are better than they have been for a number of years so it seems strange BMI would choose to do this without any consultation with industry.
“We know there is going to be increased activity in the southern North Sea in the coming year.”
“Looking into the near future, I would suggest things will improve. Whether it will improve substantially enough to justify investment in the route is another matter.”
In December 2015 BMI launched additional services on its Norwich – Aberdeen route, operating three flights a day.
29 Jan 2018