[Airport Informer] For many in the Heathrow community and across the aviation business, today was a litle sad, but there was also a reason to mark it as something very special as well, for it was the day that the last Bmi flight landed at the airport.
British Midland’s long and illustrious history came to an end today following the arrival of its last commercial journey. Flight number BD928 inbound from Baku, the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan landed in Heathrow to a warm commemorative welcome at 10:30 this morning. The flight came in to a sunny if a little chilly airport and landed on Heathrow’s northern runway.
With a history that spans over seven decades, British Midland can trace its roots back to 1938 when Captain Roy Harben established a school for training pilots of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and called it Air Schools Limited in that year.
Roy Harben died in 1947 from a heart attack after forming a parent company called Derby Aviation Limited the previous year. His wife and a partner of her husband continued to run the business. For several years and incorporating the services of Wolverhampton Aviation, the company offered charter and freight services.
In 1953 the company ceased flying training after it received a licence in to operate scheduled flights from Burnaston and Wolverhampton to Jersey. The following year Wolverhampton Aviation was merged with Derby Aviation.
In 1956 the airline started international operations with a route to Ostend.
By 1959 Derby Aviation rebranded to become known as Derby Airways, changing its livery at the same time.
Finally the airline became known as British Midland Airways in 1964 after the purchase of a Manchester Airport based airline called Mercury Airlines.
We would like to wish all those who worked for Bmi all the very best for the future. The airline may have ceased trading but it will not be forgotten.
The Airport Informer
27th Oct, 2012
- BMI Regional launches as independent operator: BBC News (airportinformer.wordpress.com)