British Airways increases throttle on the Internet

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LONDON -- British Airways has begun a revamp of its Web site nine months after its Internet debut which it predicts could bring it more than 100,000 site visits each week by the end of 1997.

New York Web agency started work on the BA home page as a priority when it beat 24 other shops to the business last month.

Information from all regions of BA will soon be accessible from the single online location, says Julia Groves, advertising and new media executive. The page will offer specific sections devoted to business travel, special holiday offers, the Executive Club and flight information.

The expanded site signals BA's "commitment to an online future," the company says. Last January, BA sponsored Europe's first Web browser, the Firecrest Group's G.O.D. (Global Online Directory), at the same time as it launched its own home page.

Over the next 12 months, the company's priority for the online project is "to deliver a site that meets our core objectives of revenue generation, reducing costs of sale, supporting the brand and building one-to-one relationships with our online customers," says Roger Flynn, head of distribution and head of the project team, known within the company as the Surf Board. The initial Internet budget is modest, at around $1m, compared with the company's $95m ad investment via M&C Saatchi.

Traffic to the BA site is predominately (90%) from North America and the U.K. Those customers account for around 70% of BA sales.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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