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Tue 23 Oct 2007 09:50 AM

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BA backs Business Travel Show to benefit Middle East travel trade

British Airways' Paul Starrs believes that the Business Travel Show Dubai will help the Middle East travel trade learn from Europe.

The first Business Travel Show Dubai will help to bring the Middle East market up to speed, according to Paul Starrs, area commercial manager, Middle East and Pakistan for British Airways.

The event, which will take place between October 29-30 at the Madinat Jumeirah, is a showcase that brings together travel suppliers, travel management companies and travel buyers from all over the Middle East.

"It's very well established in the UK and it's something that British Airways has been using there for many years. If I look at the content of some of the forums, what it's trying to do is introduce a lot of the aspects of a mature travel market like the UK to the Middle East, particularly things like the concept of a travel management company." said Starrs.

"It will bring all that experience from the UK and really help the Middle East, which is still an emerging market in terms of travel, understand what they can do to add value and make more money."

BA is going to be showcasing its new business class product, Club World, which it has invested GBP100million (US $200million) in.

"We were the first airline in the world to introduce flat seats in business class in 2000 and so this latest incarnation is an improvement on that flatbed. We've listened to a lot of our customer feedback and we've built it in," said Starrs.

"So the result is that it's a much wider seat, the in-flight entertainment is better and there're a number of other innovations. And the best way of showing people the seat is to get them to try it. That's what we're trying to do at the Business Travel Show."

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