Europe's Hotelopia, part of the Online Destinations Services Sector of First Choice Holidays PLC agreed commercial partnerships to become accommodation providers for bmi and low cost airline bmibaby.

These commercial partnerships to provide hotel services follow the deals in December 2004 for Hotelopia to power easyJet's accommodation component, and the announcement earlier this year regarding Hotelopia's agreement to supply Spanair with an accommodation component as well.

Hotelopia will now supply a total customer base of approximately 50 million through its airlines partners, offering an accommodation booking facility covering more than 20,000 hotels in over 900 destinations. Sotiris Damianos, Head of Sales & Marketing at Hotelopia said: "We are clearly succeeding in our objective to become the hotel booking website of choice, whether customers choose to book through one of our partner sites, or directly on the Hotelopia website."

Furthermore, according to commissioned research carried out by SKOPOS*, Hotelopia has beaten leading European hotel booking providers to become the top choice in terms of ease of booking, achieving a favourable scoring from 77% of the audience while top leading European travel brands combined achieved a total positive score of 44% from the same audience.

The results illustrated that a third of those surveyed were more satisfied with the simplicity offered by Hotelopia's search and booking process compared to other competitors' websites and that 83% of those who had booked on Hotelopia intended to revisit the website.

Sotiris added: "Our access to a network of offices around the world clearly enables us to deliver a superior offering to our customers and partners. This, combined with a focus on simplicity in our site architecture for ease of use and a commitment to offering customers lower prices, has set a new performance benchmark for the traditional big travel brands."

These new airline partnerships are scheduled start from May 2006.