BMP picks up pounds 30m airline portal

BMP DDB has won the pan-European account for the Online Travel Portal, a joint venture portal backed by nine major airlines. The account is estimated to be worth pounds 30 million.

BMP DDB has won the pan-European account for the Online Travel Portal, a joint venture portal backed by nine major airlines. The account is estimated to be worth pounds 30 million.

BMP, which handles advertising for American Airlines, pitched against three undisclosed agencies for the business. A media agency has yet to be appointed, but a decision is expected soon.

Like a travel agent, the portal will sell travel-related products and services over the internet. It will aim to give the consumer access to a much wider inventory of airline details across a broad range of airlines, including those outside the portfolio of shareholders.

The shareholders involved in the venture are British Airways, Air France, KLM, Aer Lingus, Alitalia, Finnair, Lufthansa, Iberia and Austrian Airlines.

Wolff Olins has also been appointed to develop the company's brand identity.

It is expected that the agency's remit will include designing an engaging customer interface for the site to help it stand out in a market that is not known for inventive design.

A spokesperson for the Online Travel Portal said: 'All the agencies involved were very impressive - the final decision was a very difficult one to make.'

Chris Cowpe, the joint managing director of BMP, added: 'We're so happy to be helping to create a top international brand with a terrific group of leading companies.'

The joint venture alliance between the airlines is the first of its kind, despite the proliferation of dotcom travel brands. Although the market is continually expanding, until now the various airlines have sold their flights and holidays online separately



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