British Midland plans to overhaul its image

BRITISH MIDLAND, the country's second biggest scheduled airline, is mulling a change of name following the decision to become a transatlantic carrier.

A firm of outside consultants has been brought in to conduct a root and branch review of the airline's branding. "They will have a completely open brief to look at everything from the logo, to the livery and the name," a spokeswoman said. "We may change the name, we may not."

British Midland currently operates domestic and European services, mainly from Heathrow and styles itself as "The airline for Europe". But it has obtained licences to start flying to four US destinations and hopes to launch the routes next year provided a new bilateral air services pact can be agreed between the UK and the US.

Although British Midland is well-known, it is thought that the name "Midland" is too parochial for a carrier with transatlantic ambitions. "We need to look at our brand to make sure it is acceptable to the American market," the spokeswoman added.

The review, being carried out by Landor Associates, is due to be completed by September. The rebranding of the airline will coincide with a high- profile campaign by British Midland to open up air routes between Heathrow and the US.

British Midland claims that the present agreement, which restricts the number of airlines that can fly to the US from Heathrow to four, has resulted in business passengers paying exorbitant prices.

It says the cost of a business-class return to New York, currently around pounds 2,800, could come down by up to pounds 1,000 if there was more competition on the route. It has licences to fly the New York, Washington, Boston and Miami but cannot use them.

Talks on an "open skies" deal across the Atlantic have been postponed and this week the prospects of the market being liberalised took a further knock when British Airways and American Airlines gave up their three-year fight to create an alliance in the face of regulatory opposition.

"If there was ever a time to look at the brand it is now," British Midland's chief operating officer, James Hogan, told the magazine Travel Weekly.

British Midland, 40 percent owned by Scandinavian Airlines System, is linked to 19 other European airlines in code-sharing - a technique for two carriers to extend their reach by carrying each other's passenger.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Stockbroker

£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence