BA finds ‘British’ is not best for corporate look

British Airways has considered dropping the word “British” from its name as part of a forthcoming corporate redesign, according to industry sources.

The “world’s favourite” airline is understood to have discussed a name change following research 18 months ago which showed perceptions of the brand were less favourable than before. As a result, BA briefed design companies to examine the need for a change of corporate identity and the airline is understood to have appointed Newell & Sorrell to look at the task (MW last week).

BA says”there is no imminent announcement on design”.

However, sources suggest BA’s research indicated a need to tone down the “Britishness” of the airline’s image. This led to the suggestion of substituting the word “British” with an alternative which would give the airline a more global feel.

A redesign could also be prompted by the need to strengthen the brand across BA’s global alliances with Qantas and USAir. BA has a 25 per cent stake in each of these airlines.

USAir is the subject of takeover talks with American Airlines and United Airlines, which could lead BA to expand its US operations through a new alliance with the buyer. This would have further repercussions for the name and corporate identity.

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