Heywood held in Qatar

Former British Airways executive Ian Heywood is detained in Qatar and cannot take up a job with rival carrier BMI after being arrested and held for 25 days for alleged industrial espionage.

Heywood, a former head of consumer and agency sales at BA, was reportedly on a trip to Bahrain when he was detained in Doha. The Mail on Sunday reported Heywood was held in solitary confinement. He has since been released, but must remain in Qatar.

His arrest is believed to be unconnected to the fuel-surcharge scandal that could see several serving and former BA executives face charges in the UK and US.

Heyood joined Qatar Airways as vice-president of global sales and distribution after leaving BA. He was due to join BMI as commercial director in May, but has yet to take up the post.

A BMI spokeswoman would not comment on Heywood’s arrest or the delay in his starting work at the airline. She said: “Unfortunately at this time he has been unable to leave Qatar and consequently not able to take up the position of commercial director. We expect him to take up this role at some point in the future.”

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