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IATA Summit 2011: BA’s Willie Walsh eyes BMI take-over

IATA Summit 2011: BA’s Willie Walsh eyes BMI take-over

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, has expressed a renewed interest in buying Bmi, in a bid to gain the airline’s valuable slots at Heathrow. Speaking at the International Air Transport Association summit in Singapore, he said a potential deal hinged on whether current owner Lufthansa was willing to sell.

He said: “I have said we are interested – it is really a decision for Lufthansa.”

Walsh, who heads up the group formed by the merger of British Airways and Iberia, also added that IAG was keen to form a joint venture with the Japan Airlines, a fellow member of oneworld, voted “World’s Leading Airline Alliance” by World Travel Awards.

Lufthansa recently gained anti-trust approval for a similar venture with All Nippon Airways.

Walsh also revealed plans for a major marketing campaign for BA to rebuild customer confidence after the 18-month industrial dispute with cabin crew. The dispute led to 22 days of strikes and cost the airline an estimated £150m.


Some of the marketing push will be linked to the 2012 London Olympics, with BA being one of the official sponsors.

This week Dubai City.Mobi is celebrating its new guide to the exciting emirate.

Singapore.City.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.

City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.

However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Paris.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi.

Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.

Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.

City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.