Bmi is owned by German carrier Lufthansa, which holds just under 30%; Scandinavian carrier SAS, which has 20%; and chairman Sir Michael Bishop and his two part-ners, who hold the remaining 50%.
The airline was established as Air Schools in 1938 as a training school for RAF pilots. In 1949, it became Derby Aviation and started operating charter services.
In 1953, flight instruction for the RAF ceased and the first scheduled service was flown from Derby to Wolverhampton to Jersey. In 1959, the company changed its name to Derby Airlines, before becoming British Midland Airways in 1964.
In 1984, services from Heathrow to Belfast began and in 1985 the firm changed its name to British Midland, adopting a diamond motif. In 2000, it joined the Star Alliance.
The following year the airline revamped its corporate identity and was renamed bmi british midland, before changing to just bmi.
In August this year, bmi signed a sponsorship deal with ITV's regional weather bulletins, with creative work featuring animated birds voiced by stars such as Denise Van Outen.
In September, Partners Andrews Aldridge created a member-get-member campaign.
A postcard was sent to members of bmi's Diamond Club loyalty scheme for recipients to give to friends. The cards featured pictures of bmi destinations, with the strap 'See where being a good friend gets you'. Every recipient was awarded 3000 destination miles for each friend who flew with bmi, and a European trip once four had flown.
In October, technology was added to bmi's web site that reveals 'real-time' availability for bmi's partners' offerings, such as car hire and hotels. Once a booking is made, a link from bmi's partner sites is displayed on the booking and confirmation page, and via an e-mail. This enables the customer to see exact availability and prices, based on their travel plans.
In the same month, bmi called on British Airways and Iberia to give up slots at Heathrow. It outlined competition concerns to the European Commission over proposed commercial co-operation between BA, Iberia and GB Airways on routes from the UK to Spain.
Bmi also began Birmingham to Gothenburg flights, via a code-share with Swedish carrier City Airline.
In November, bmibaby hired former Strongbow marketing manager David Hodge as head of marketing.
Pre-tax profit -£19.6m
(year to December 31 2002)
Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper Partners
Media buying agency
Direct marketing agencies
Navigator Responsive, Partners Andrews Aldridge
New media agency
Adspend (year to September 2003)
Direct mail £203,417
Source: ACNielsen MMS
Adrian Parkes, commercial director
Donington Hall, Castle Donington, Derby DE74 2SB
Tel: 01332 854 000
Fax: 01332 854 640
Web site: www.flybmi.com
This article was first published on Marketing