On 6 November, the airline bmi regional (British Midland Regional) launched its first flight from Saarbrücken to Munich. Despite being delayed by an hour as a result of fog, there was autumn sun on 6 November at 10:50 a.m. when the first plane from Munich for a long while once again landed in Saarbrücken: an Embraer 145 jet operated by the airline bmi regional. Exactly 50 minutes later it and its 27 passengers took off back towards the Bavarian capital, a successful start for the maiden Saarbrücken flight.
As is usual on first flights, the airport fire department welcomed the incoming aircraft to its parking position, and both the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Jürgen Barke (Chairman of the SCN Board) and SCN’s Director Thomas Schuck insisted on greeting the crew and bmi’s representatives Benjamin Caja and Fabrice Binet.
Chairman of the SCN Board Jürgen Barke views Saarbrücken Airport as being securely positioned for the future. He said: ‘A connection with the IT metropolis of Munich has become very important, in particular for Saarland’s economy. With Hamburg and the continuation of the service to Berlin, our airport is very well positioned – not just for Saarland as a business location, but also in terms of event and holiday tourism.’
This new service will be available twice a day Monday to Friday as well as Saturday mornings. The 49-seater Embraer 145 jet will leave Munich at 8:50 a.m. and land in Saarbrücken at 9:40 a.m., and the return flight will leave at 10:20 a.m. and land at MUC at 11:05 a.m. The evening flight will leave Munich at 8:00 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays and arrive at SCN at 9:00 p.m. It will then return to Munich at 9:30 p.m., landing at 10:15 p.m. On Fridays the flight will depart from Munich at 5:55 p.m. and return to Munich at 7:25 p.m. The flight from Saarbrücken to Munich therefore takes 50 minutes, giving rise to the slogan: ‘Munich is now closer than Frankfurt’.
bmi regional is expanding rapidly on the German market and has thus built an established relationship with industry. Saarbrücken is a perfect fit for an operating model strongly oriented towards business customers. bmi regional’s Chief Commercial Officer Jochen Schnadt has the following to say on the subject: ‘The Saarbrücken-Munich link has now incorporated a third intra-Germany route into the bmi regional network. The combination our fleet of smaller, more comfortable 50-seater jets, our flight times which are strongly oriented to the needs of frequent business travellers, and our sales model which provides customers with a traditional all-inclusive service has gained an increasingly positive response in the German-speaking world. Saarbrücken with its particular market characteristics is a logical extension for our Munich hub, and given travel times using alternative means of transport, we expect our two daily flights between Saarbrücken and Munich (with a flight time calculated at just 50 minutes) to be well received by customers.’
Airport Director Thomas Schuck also views Munich as a significant hub: ‘Airline passengers reach a second interchange and can thus travel onwards from Munich to 70 destinations across the world.’ This is particularly relevant to Far East connections, which are important to business travellers. Schuck adds that the first attractive codeshare agreements have since been reached, meaning that passengers can fly on Condor via Munich to 13 long-haul holiday destinations including Mauritius and Mexico, or on Air Dolomiti to five Italian cities.
About bmi regional
bmi regional has a jet-only fleet of 20 aircraft: 16 Embraer 145s and four ERJ 135s. The airline currently operates more than 400 scheduled flights a week to 42 destinations in 11 European countries and employs over 400 people. bmi was awarded the Munich Exchange Award in 2015 and again in September 2016. The carrier’s route network includes Oslo and Stavanger in Norway, Brussels in Belgium, Esbjerg in Denmark, Bremen, Rostock, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Munich, Nuremberg, Saarbrücken and Stuttgart in Germany, Milan Bergamo and Milan Malpensa in Italy, Graz in Austria, Paris and Toulouse in France, Brno in the Czech Republic, Lubin in Poland, Norrköping, Karlstad, Jonköping and Gothenburg in Sweden, and Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Derry, East Midlands, Newcastle, Norwich, London Stansted and Southampton in the United Kingdom. Passengers can also book Air Dolomiti’s Florence, Venice, Verona, Bari and Bologna routes on a BM flight number.