to expand at East Midlands as Bmibaby folds to expand at East Midlands as Bmibaby folds has joined Monarch in adding services from East Midlands following British Airways’ announcement that it will close Bmibaby and its base at the airport.

Regional carrier will launch eight routes from East Midlands over the next 12 months, flying to Chambery and Geneva this winter and to Dubrovnik, Menorca, Nice, Ibiza, Larnaca and Gran Canaria for summer 2013. plans to double its staff at the airport by recruiting 100 employees, including pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, and promises additional routes next year that will take its capacity at East Midlands to more than half a million passengers a year.

The carrier began flying from the airport two years ago, launching eight routes. It will base an additional Boeing 737 at the airport next summer. chief commercial officer Steve Heapy said: “We opened from East Midlands a couple of years ago with core routes and the services are popular. There is big demand in the region.”

The carrier already operates from East Midlands to Spain, the Canary Islands, Portugal and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Heapy added: “The closure of bmibaby was not a massive surprise to people. There had been a lot of speculation.”

He described sales overall this summer as “encouraging”, saying: “Bookings are pretty much in line with expectations, but it will be a challenging year. has increased capacity overall by 10% year on year for the summer. This week it also announced a new winter destination, with flights to start from December 15 to ski resort Grenoble form Leeds Bradford Airport. Weekly flights will run until April 13.The move takes the number of ski destinations out of Leeds Bradford to four.

Monarch announced plans to open a new base at East Midlands and expand services from Birmingham on Friday after BA confirmed many Bmibaby services from the airport will cease from June 11 and the airline be grounded from September 10.

BA parent company IAG bought BMI and its subsidiaries Bmibaby and BMI Regional from Lufthansa in April. It began a consultation with staff and unions about redundancies last week.

The US: Winter holidays

Winter holidays

Head to the states for snowy fun and winter sun
Read More »

Florida: Key selling points

Key selling points

Meera Dattani finds plenty to recommend in the Florida Keys
Read More »

Las Vegas: Spin city

Spin city

Club scene opens up the destination to a younger audience
Read More »

Sausalito: Through the Golden Gate

Through the Golden Gate

Enjoy a more relaxed pace just across the famous bridge
Read More »

Spain & Portugal: Fiesta time

Fiesta time

No one knows how to party like the Spanish, says Jo Booth
Read More »