British Airways offering free flights to SMEs
April 29, 2009
British Airways announced yesterday that it will offer 5,000 free flights at a value of as much as £15 million to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK to help them win new foreign business.
In this new initiative, BA has teamed up with BritishAmerican Business (BAB) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
The airline is calling on other major businesses in the UK to support smaller enterprises as well, through a consortium that provides expertise, products or services that UKTI can then offer to help SMEs during the recession.
Willie Walsh, the British Airways chief executive, said: “SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and they are hurting badly, with 120 of them closing every week. We’d love to see other British businesses pulling together in order to help the UK out of the recession.”
Walsh added: “We’ve put up the flights to allow the SMEs to travel to do business and we’d be delighted if other companies would join us by offering services and skills that will bring real value and benefit.”
The joint initiative aims to support those SMEs in the UK that are relatively new to exporting their goods, or that are interested in expanding into new markets abroad.
Research on UKTI customers has found that over half of them were seeing an increase in demand from foreign countries.
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