Michelle Mone: BA's poster girl, in an Ultimo swimsuit

It's another eye-catching twist in the career of one of Scotland's best known business figures: Michelle Mone today boldly models a swimsuit of her own design and becomes a poster girl for British Airways.

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In a launch titled "Summer take-off!", the entrepreneur and 42-year-old mother-of-three has been photographed with the airline's new A380 super jumbo, wearing a bespoke Ultimo costume.

British Airways said it was about to start its biggest ever summer schedule from this weekend, launching new routes and offering more seats than ever before to summer holiday destinations across the world from London's Gatwick, Heathrow and City airports. A new three times a week nightly service from Edinburgh to Ibiza will also start on May 23 and run until September 8.

To celebrate, the airline recruited Ms Mone, OBE, a British Airways Executive Club gold card holder. She took part in the shoot to launch the summer schedule and for the first time also modelled pieces from Ultimo's 2014 swimwear collection.

She said: "I am delighted that British Airways has asked me to help launch their summer flights. I fly with British Airways four times a week and it's a great honour to be part of this iconic British brand. My Ultimo team and I designed a fantastic one-off British Airways swimsuit to bring our two great brands together."

Colm Lacy, British Airways' head of commercial at Gatwick, said: "We're thrilled to have Michelle on board. Not only is she a globetrotting entrepreneur, but she's also a loyal British Airways customer, so she was a natural choice for our summer launch.

Ms Mone is always a colourful, if sometimes controversial, character. She has previously pledged to move to England if Scotland became independent.

A frequent panellist on TV's The Apprentice, she separated from her husband, Michael, in 2011.

Last month, a former director of her firm who left after discovering his office had been bugged won his case for unfair dismissal.

Scott Kilday found a listening device hidden in artificial flowers. The bug had been set up amid fears Mr Kilday was planning to quit to work with Ms Mone's ex-husband.

Mr Kilday, who had the role of operations director at MJM, took the firm to an employment tribunal. He lodged a claim for unfair dismissal and was also seeking £25,000 in shares he claimed he had been denied.

After a hearing in Glasgow last September, judges found in favour of the 35-year-old in relation to the unfair dismissal claim and Mr Kilday received £15,920 in compensation.

His former employer, MJM International, now called Ultimo Brands International, said they were "delighted to have won the main aspect of this case relating to the shares".

A spokeswoman said: "With regards to the secondary case, we are in discussions with our lawyers and insurers to review our options to appeal."

Mr Kilday, who works for a rival firm set up by Mr Mone, said he could "walk away with his head held high". He said: "At the end of the day, it's not about the money, but standing up for what's morally correct and not being bullied into keeping quiet."

In January, Ultimo reported the strongest online December sales in its 16-year history from its direct website, with 24% growth compared to the last Christmas period.

The most popular products included the Miracle OMG Plunge range of bust-boosting bras with in-built silicone gel, and a collection of everyday bras.

Travel

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