British Midland Airways Limited, trading as British Midland International (BMI), is an airline based in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, England. It was established in 1949 as Derby Aviation Limited, and has been a member of the Star Alliance since 2000.
In 1964, Derby Airways purchased Manchester-based charter airline Mercury Airlines. Subsequently, in October of that year, it changed its name again, to British Midland Airways (BMA).
BMA's logo consisted of two sky-blue stripes with a white stripe in between, containing the letters 'BMA' in a Microgramma-like font, and white wings above and below the white stripe, thus forming an abstract aeroplane shape.
Further expansion resulted in BMA rebranding itself as simply British Midland in the autumn of 1985, and adopting a new logo of a stylised red 'BM' with a diamond atop the 'M'.
The original font for the British Midland name was Univers Bold Italic.
A more modern font for the British Midland name was introduced in August 1996, when the airline unveiled an updated corporate identity to coincide with a fleet renewal program.
British Midland joined the Star Alliance on July 1, 2000, and on February 1, 2001 it launched a completely new corporate identity, which involved the rebranding of the airline to BMI British Midland, all in lower case.
The new identity was created by Landor Associates, the American-based design consultancy that had previously created the identity used by British Airways from 1984-97.
According to Landor:
- "The bmi brand is now based around the Brand Driver "speed with charm and style." That new philosophy is built on bmi's pride in its British heritage. Our touch can be seen in everything from the logo and livery of the aircraft to lounges, uniforms and throughout all brand expression."
- Press release: Landor Lifts British Midland Brand Onto New Plane
In early 2003, the airline dropped the 'British Midland' from its name and thus became simply BMI.
In 2010, the airline announced that its would start using its full name, British Midland International, again, hoping that the words "British" and "International" would communicate confidence in markets where the brand is relatively unknown.
A new logo was unveiled on December 14, 2010. The new identity was created with Strategic Fusion.
On October 28, 2012, British Midland International was sold to IAG, and all their aircraft transferred to the British Airways fleet.