Thousands of British holidaymakers will see their summer holiday plans wrecked after budget airline Bmibaby announced it is to close.
All flights will be grounded from September, while some will stop as quickly as next month.
Its owner IAG, who also owns British Airways, said it was still willing to sell the carrier, but that they did not now expect to find a buyer for the airline, which is losing £25 million a year.
The company bought Bmibaby along with Bmi from Lufthansa, but while Bmi is being integrated into BA's mainstream operations, BA does not want to run the low-cost airline.
Services to Belfast and from East Midlands to Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Nice, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newquay, and from Birmingham to Knock and Amsterdam, will cease to run from 11 June.
According to a report in the Independent, passengers with bookings from Belfast are likely to be the worst affected owing to the scarcity of alternative flights.
Booking schedules suggest that between 40,000 and 50,000 bookings for July and August will be affected.
Many holidaymakers who booked flights as part of a package holiday will be protected, while those that booked accommodation and flights separately will be more vulnerable.
According to Travel Mole, bmi's interim managing director Peter Simpson wrote in a letter tostaff: "Bmibaby has delivered high levels of operational performance and customer service, but has continued to struggle financially, losing more than £100m in the last four years.
"To help stem losses as quickly as possible, and as a preliminary measure, we will be making reductions to Bmibaby's flying programme from June. We sincerely apologise to all customers affected and will be providing full refunds and doing all we can with other airlines to mitigate the impact of these changes."
Read more at the Independent.co.uk
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