Sir Michael Bishop’s airline started as a RAF pilot training school. Today its 73 planes make 2,500 flights a week from regional airports and its base at Heathrow, where it holds 17% of the takeoff and landing slots. Derby-headquartered BMI has been expanding its medium-haul routes to the Middle East, boosted by its acquisition of BA’s franchise operator BMED last year, and also runs low-cost airline BMIbaby. Sales were £1,023m in 2007.
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