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24th January, 2018 << Home

British Airways joins forces with 2018 International Business Festival

The UK’s largest international airline has joined forces with the world’s biggest business festival to champion the value of face-to-face meetings. It was announced today that British Airways would be joining as a headline partner of the event, set to take place in Liverpool in June 2018.

British Airways and the Festival say they share a belief in the importance of in-person networking and business connections. Across British Airways' top ten fastest growing routes in its SME loyalty programme – On Business - including San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, traveller numbers have grown by around a third (30%)*. This suggests that face-to-face meetings are still important to people in business – even in the age of email and Skype.

The International Business Festival, which takes place every two years, attracts an audience of buyers, suppliers and investors from around the world. At the last Festival in 2016, UK companies secured export sales worth more than £250 million.

This year's event will take place between June 12th and 28th, with a programme of expert panels, practical workshops and inspirational keynote addresses designed to explore international business growth opportunities across a range of sectors – from manufacturing to creative industries.

British Airways' 'On Business' loyalty programme enables small and medium sized companies to collect On Business points each time a member of their company travels. Points can be spent on reward flights, on a cabin upgrade, or on special offers. The On Business scheme doesn’t impact the collection of Avios, which can be collected by the traveller as a member of the British Airways Executive Club, alongside the company's collecting On Business points.

Through British Airways' partnership with the Festival, the airline's customers will be able to take advantage of a preferential ticket rate for the Festival, with 30% off day and full Festival passes if booked before March 31st.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways' director of brand and customer experience, said: "We're delighted to be working with the International Business Festival – who share with us a passion for face-to-face business networking. Our latest figures show that people in business still place great value in meeting in person with existing contacts and new prospects. Looking at the top ten fastest growing routes for our On Business customers, we've seen traveller numbers increase by 30%.

"The services we provide, including our On Business loyalty programme, help business people to establish these all-important connections and unlock growth potential".

Max Steinberg CBE, chair of the 2018 International Business Festival, said: "Forging personal connections across the globe should be a key priority for UK SMEs as they prepare for the post-Brexit reality. As the world's biggest business festival we help businesses meet the right people to turn ideas into innovations that hit the bottom line. Collaboration is a crucial part of that growth journey, so we are really excited to have British Airways on board as a headline partner for the 2018 Business Festival".

For information on the International Business Festival in June 2018, and to buy tickets, visit

*Average growth rate of the top ten fastest growing routes for UK-based On Business customers. Growth rate YOY, YTD December 4, 2017. On Business customers can be businesses of any size, but the programme is aimed at the SME market.






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