Thursday, 15 August 2013

Interview: Cathal O'Connell, BMI Regional CEO

Full article in JPG format: page 22/23, page 24 & page 26

When International Airlines Group (IAG) acquired rival British carrier BMI in 2012, CEO Willie Walsh was unequivocal that he had no interest in retaining its two loss-making subsidiaries. That meant the end of the road for bmibaby, the airline's troubled low-cost unit. But BMI Regional lived on after a £8 million buyout by Sector Aviation Holdings, an Aberdeen-based consortium funded by aviation entrepreneurs Stephen and Peter Bond.

Alongside chairman Ian Woodley and chief operating officer Graeme Ross – the founders of BMI Regional's precursor, Business Air – CEO Cathal O'Connell is leading the charge to re-define BMI Regional in the absence of its former Star Alliance partners. In doing so he is exploring new paradigms for Europe's beleaguered regional airlines, whose smaller fleets have been hardest hit by the rampant fuel price hikes of the past decade...