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Do you have a ticket to fly directly from Ben-Gurion International Airport to London (or vice versa), via the low-cost airline bmi? Too bad. You'll have a stop somewhere in Europe, probably Frankfurt, if your flight is scheduled for after January 10. That is when bmi will stop flying its Israel route as part of cost-cutting measures and will shift its passengers to Lufthansa.

Although it won't fly to Israel any more bmi promised to find solutions for passengers who have already bought tickets. Carriers other than Lufthansa, such as El Al, British Airways and easyJet, could provide direct flights. But Lufthansa is taking over, for the prosaic reason that it owns bmi.

The decision will affect hundreds of passengers, who will face longer flights.

Bmi commented that it has found solutions for all its customers who have bought tickets, in keeping with the rules of IATA, the International Air Transport Association. The rules do not require it to assure the passengers of direct flights, it clarified.

Bmi didn't have a long career in Israel: It only began plying the London-Tel Aviv route in March 2008. Like many airlines around the world, bmi has been hit hard by diminishing demand, volatile fuel prices and intensifying competition.