bmi and SWISS Announce New Services to Basel

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    Direct links from Heathrow and Manchester

    Great value fares start from just $121 return






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NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2011 /CNW/ -- British Midland International (bmi) and SWISS have announced new routes from London Heathrow and Manchester to Basel, Switzerland, starting March 27, 2011. Flights are available to book at flybmi.com and swiss.com on Friday, Jan. 21, 2011.

Return fares with bmi from London Heathrow to Basel start from approximately $121, and Manchester to Basel from approximately $126 return including taxes.

The routes will be operated in partnership with SWISS, and offer three flights per day on weekdays between London Heathrow and Basel, with two services on Saturdays and Sundays, and a daily weekday flight between Manchester and Basel.

Services will be operated by bmi using an Airbus A319 aircraft offering a full service business class and economy cabin with conveniently timed schedules for both business and leisure customers. Business class cabin seating will be a 2:2 configuration, with the middle seat kept free to offer more space to work or simply relax. A full business class service, including hot meals and a fully stocked bar will be served on all flights.

Customers in economy will enjoy bmi's full service benefits such as free checked baggage to a total weight of 44 pounds, complimentary food service and full bar throughout the day.

bmi business class customers, Diamond Club gold and silver members can take advantage of bmi's flagship international lounge, The Great British Lounge, at London Heathrow Terminal One. Star Alliance gold members are also offered complimentary lounge access.

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    Joerg Hennemann, chief commercial officer, bmi, commented:

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"Our customers now have the chance to discover the vibrant and historic city of Basel, on its idyllic Rhine setting, and the surrounding region. From Basel you can reach some of the best skiing regions in Switzerland and enjoy easy access to Alsace and Germany's Black Forest due its unique location at the border triangle between all three countries. For our business customers, the new route gives them direct and frequent services to a key Swiss commercial city and the tri-national region. Today, Basel is the most successful economic region in Switzerland and is also the leading convention center of the country. We are delighted to offer more new routes from Heathrow and from Manchester to boost tourism and business links between the United Kingdom (UK) and Switzerland."

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    Felix Rodel, country manager of Ireland & UK, SWISS, added:

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"We are very excited about this collaboration which focuses on the right destination, the right schedule and increased capacity for our customers. This latest co-operation with our partner bmi is just another example of how we can further enhance the offer to our customers by working closely together within the Lufthansa Group. Business travelers will benefit from increased capacity between London and Basel by 135 percent with the switch from London City airport to London Heathrow airport for all Basel flights. The Manchester to Basel capacity will also increase by 84 percent, both routes being served by bmi Airbus A319 aircraft.

"Basel is not only a dynamic economic region, but also a gateway to the charming TriRhena region. The third biggest Swiss city especially attracts art lovers with countless museums, theatres, galleries and famous events such as the Art Basel exhibition."

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    Notes to Editors:
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    Schedule London Heathrow-Basel:
    BD161  (codeshare LX4429) dep 07:15   arr 09:50   Monday-Saturday
    BD167  (codeshare LX4425) dep 16:50   arr 19:25   Monday-Saturday
    BD167  (codeshare LX4425) dep 16:55   arr 19:30   Sunday
    BD169  (codeshare LX4427) dep 19:25   arr 22:00   Monday-Friday, Sunday
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    Basel-London Heathrow:
    BD160  (codeshare LX4420) dep 07:25   arr 08:10   Monday-Friday
    BD160  (codeshare LX4420) dep 07:30   arr 08:15   Saturday
    BD162  (codeshare LX4426) dep 16:00   arr 16:40   Monday
    BD162  (codeshare LX4426) dep 16:10   arr 16:50   Tuesday-Friday, Sunday
    BD168  (codeshare LX4428) dep 20:30   arr 21:05   Monday-Friday, Sunday
    BD168  (codeshare LX4428) dep 20:50   arr 21:25   Saturday
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    Schedule Manchester-Basel:
    BD301  (codeshare LX4431) dep 12:15   arr 15:00   Monday-Friday
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    Basel-Manchester
    BD300  (codeshare LX4430) dep 10:50   arr 11:40   Monday-Friday


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    --British Midland International is the second largest airline
     at London Heathrow, one of the world's leading international
     hub airports. Across its mainline route network bmi operates to
     Aberdeen; Addis Ababa; Almaty; Amman; Baku; Basel; Beirut;
     Belfast City; Berlin; Bishkek; Cairo; Damascus; Dammam; Dublin;
     Edinburgh; Freetown; Glasgow; Hanover; Jeddah; Khartoum; London
     Heathrow; Manchester; Moscow Domodedovo; Riyadh; Tbilisi;
     Tehran; Tripoli; Vienna; Yerevan. www.flybmi.com.
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    --SWISS: Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) serves 73
     destinations in 39 countries all over the world from its Zurich
     hub and the international airports of Geneva and Basel. SWISS
     is operating a 87 aircraft fleet. In the UK & Ireland SWISS
     operates 34 daily flights from London Heathrow, London City,
     Birmingham International, Manchester and Dublin to Switzerland
     and, via its hubs to the world. SWISS operates more flights
     daily between the UK and Switzerland than any other carrier and
     offers passengers the best ticket combinations - e.g. out on
     one of its many frequencies from London City and back to
     Heathrow either to Geneva or Zurich or vice versa.
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         Switzerland's national airline embodies traditional Swiss values
          such as personal service, attention to detail and typical Swiss
          hospitality - we aim to make each and every customer feel at
          home on our flights. SWISS is a member of Europe's biggest
          Frequent Flyer Program, Miles & More, a member of Star Alliance
          and is one of the few carriers to operate an all-inclusive
          pricing model with no hidden costs. www.swiss.com/uk
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    -- bmi and SWISS are members of Star Alliance. The Star
     Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly
     global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition
     and seamless service to the international traveller.  Its
     acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous
     awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership
     Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller
     Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways,
     Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA,
     Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines,
     Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish
     Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines,
     South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP
     Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Air
     India, Avianca-TACA, Copa Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines have
     been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance
     network offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181
     countries.




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SOURCE British Midland International

For further information: bmi UK press office, 44-1332-854687, pressoffice@flybmi.com, or Paul Charles, or Julia Perowne, or Lizzie Morrison, or Alex Allason, LEWIS PR, 44-20-7802-2626, bmi@lewispr.com, or SWISS UK press office, 44-20-7300-6216, Joanna.charlottes@bm.com Web Site: http://www.flybmi.com

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