Swindon's business travellers have been promised better access from Bristol Airport to nearly 250 key destinations across the world as part of a major new agreement between German airline Lufthansa and UK carrier bmi regional.
The code-sharing deal between the airlines – described as “a game changer” by airport bosses – will vastly improve onward connections to cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Washington from Bristol, allowing it to further compete with London’s airports.
Bmi regional’s flights to Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and Milan, launched last year, have proved popular with business travellers – especially those working in the region’s aerospace and tech sectors
The link-up means passengers flying to Frankfurt and Munich will have “seamless” access to Lufthansa’s global route network of 235 destinations – including six in China along with major business destinations in Africa, North and South America as well as European cities not served by Bristol Airport.
It also brings German flag carrier Lufthansa back to Bristol Airport for the first time in five years. The airline scrapped its Bristol-Frankfurt service in the depth of the recession in 2009 on economic grounds.
Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “Today’s announcement is great news for business and leisure travellers in the South West and South Wales.
“The combination of Lufthansa’s global network and distribution with bmi regional’s frequent flights from Bristol to Frankfurt and Munich creates a powerful proposition for passengers.”
The routes will continue to be served by bmi regional’s 49-seater Embraer 145 aircraft based at the airport. Lufthansa had been flying aircraft with more than 100 seats on its Frankfurt route when it pulled out of Bristol.
Pictured, from left: bmi regional CEO Cathal O’Connell, Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair, and Christian Schindler, Lufthansa general manager UK & Ireland