Rebranded airline bmi british midland, has begun a review of its public affairs account with BSMG Worldwide.
BSMG's PR account with the airline is not in jeopardy, but the client has asked at least three agencies to pitch for the PA part of the brief. BSMG intends to repitch for that work.
bmi director of industry and government relations Tony Davis refused to comment, but PRWeek understands that requests for proposals went out to agencies last week.
BSMG European chairman Tim Sutton oversees the account. He has worked for the airline for more than a decade and is known to have a strong relationship with bmi chairman Sir Michael Bishop, having first won the client while a director at Paragon Communications.
BSMG is bmi's main retained agency. The five-strong in-house PR team, led by head of PR Robert Nadin, uses the agency to assist on media relations and communications.
Sutton said: 'Tony Davis thought this was a good time to review, given the election looks to be imminent and he wanted to refresh the company's thinking on public affairs.'
BSMG handled bmi's relaunch with a transformed livery and corporate identity last month (PRWeek, 23 February).
It is not clear which agencies have been invited into pitch, though client conflict is thought likely to prevent Lexington Communications (which handles British Airways) and Politics International (which handles Virgin Atlantic) from taking the work.
bmi, which is the UK's second largest airline, operates 300 flights across Europe daily. It is a member of the Star Alliance.