BMI will double its daily flights between Heathrow and Moscow from March 30, but end its daily Heathrow-Inverness service complaining that the increase in air passenger duty has made the route unviable.
Inverness MP Danny Alexander called the decision “disgraceful”. But BMI mainline managing director Peter Spencer said: “APD affects domestic travellers in particular and inflation-busting airport-charge increases at Heathrow puts pressure on short-haul services like Inverness. The route is just not a viable proposition.”
However, in other changes to its summer timetable, BMI will add an eighth daily flight between Heathrow and Manchester – operating in the early evening – while reducing the Heathrow-Leeds Bradford service to four a day. It will axe the summer-only services to Alicante and Nice.
BMI has flown from Inverness since March 2004. It launched the daily Moscow operation in October 2006, the first of a growing network of medium-haul services.
Passengers with bookings on suspended services will be offered an alternative or a full refund.