BA to launch charter section in growth bid

British Airways is planning to set up a charter division to help boost its corporate offering in the light of 11 September. The process needed for clients to charter planes is still being established but the option is expected to be available early this year. The news comes in the light of the demise of two airline charter companies – British World Airlines and Flight Directors Aviation. "We expect the charter division to attract C&I groups," said BA leisure business development manager James Bell. "And while the meetings business seems to be holding up after 11 September, incentive activity has dried up completely and we hope the chartering arm will help rebuild this." BA’s C&I division has also been restructured. Its two account managers for group sales have taken unpaid leave, Jo Osman for nine months and Lindsay Williams for six months. Lisa Balsom has been appointed account manager for C&I. The airline has also introduced cut-price offers for the leisure market that it hopes will have a spin-off effect on the corporate market. "The Kids Go Free to Europe and One Day Sale campaigns were successful and we’ll follow this up soon," said Bell. "We hope this will build confidence about flying and show people are ready to travel again." Elsewhere, SAS Scandinavian Airlines has teamed up with Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts to offer UK and Ireland meetings buyers the Conference Inclusive package, offering 33 daily SAS fights from London, Birmingham, Manchester and Aberdeen to seven Scandinavian cities, featuring 22 SAS properties.

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