Struggling bmi picks new head of marketing

Bmi has promoted Amanda Burns to the newly created marketing chief role, as the airline tries to fight its way back to profitability.

Burns takes the role of head of marketing and reports to commercial director Adrian Parkes.

Burns, who was previously marketing manager for UK, Ireland and international, joined the airline in 1998 as senior product manager after leaving Britrail, where she held the post of marketing manager.

The new role carries overall responsibility for marketing strategy, brand and communication developments and bmi’s frequent-flyer programme Diamond Club.

The airline ditched its marketing director title, held by Simon Gregory, in February (MW February 6). Gregory was recently appointed sales and marketing director for Travelodge. While at the airline, Gregory appointed Partners BDDH to handle the low-cost spin-off airline bmibaby, and then consolidated bmi’s advertising business into the agency.

Like its competitors, bmi has suffered from the global economic slump and the after-effects of September 11, the Sars virus and the war in Iraq. Last month the airline announced it will axe 1,500 jobs during the next four years from its workforce of 4,645. It reported a loss of &£1.6m for 2002 compared with a profit of &£12.4m in 2001.

Speculation continues as to a possible merger between bmi and rival carrier Virgin Atlantic, although both parties say that there are no discussions at present.

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