BMI Regional plans October relaunch

BMI Regional is planning a relaunch for the 50th anniversary of the British Midland Airways original airline.

BMI Regional is readying for relaunch.

The company is now looking for an agency partner to help it develop new brand values and devise a strategy that will reinforce brand awareness across all customer touchpoints.

The relaunch strategy includes a rebrand, possibly to the name of now defunct parent company BMI. Activity including media announcements, the unveiling of a new website and a new on board menu will be scheduled for the anniversary date.

BMI Regional was original owned by BMI but when the parent company was bought by British Airways in 2012, the subsidiary came under the ownership of Sector Aviation Holdings.

Director of marketing Colin Lewis says: “The successful agency will have a desire to work with BMI, and be part of a great story: the recreation and relaunch of a great British brand with 50 years heritage to help complete the turnaround of the airline in one of the toughest markets in the world.”

BMI Regional faces a number of challenges in boosting awareness including the fact that it does not fly from London, offers a different proposition from how the brand was originally perceived and flies the smaller Embraer aircraft.

The airline serves niche markets on domestic UK and European routes that are “ideally suited to small jet operations”.

However, Lewis points out that the associations with the BMI brand bring attributes such as trust, reliability and security and it does carry the Union Flag.

“The brand values are still around Britishness – it’s a really powerful association, it’s a feeling of refined, understated Britishness. But are those values good enough for tomorrow? There are other values we might want to be a little more associated with.”

Lewis has concentrated on SEO and content marketing strategies since the airline became independent.

He says: “We now have a clear plan of what needs to be done – now it’s how to create branding, buzz and bookings.”

Regarding a new agency he adds: “This will probably suit somebody interested in growing with us.”

The last 12 months have seen a spate of new positionings and marketing strategies unveiled by airlines, including Monarch Airlines, Flybe and recently Ryanair.