British Midland is setting up a specialised strategy and external affairs division within its marketing department, to raise its profile outside Europe and capitalise on strategic alliances.
As a result of the change, BM is looking for a sales and marketing director to replace Alex Grant, who becomes director of strategy and external affairs. He will report directly to group managing director Austin Reid.
“The new unit’s remit will be to look at the long-term strategic marketing function, as well as public affairs and lobbying issues,” says a spokeswoman for the company.
“There is an increasing need to plan longer term because the industry is changing so rapidly.”
BM is keen to increase its presence in the global market through its web of strategic alliances.
The company currently has alliances with 18 airlines including Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and SAS, the Scandinavian airline.
The airline, which is 40 per cent owned by SAS, also faces increasing competition from British Airways’ new low-cost airline Go, which starts flying from May 22.
Earlier this year, BM reported pre-tax profits had trebled to 17.3m for the year to December 31 1997, compared with 1996.