In the first few days following the announcement, I witnessed the confusion of passengers and staff first hand (I worked for bmi when the rebrand was rolled out).
Pilots slipped 'international' onto the end of their tannoy announcements by mistake and were quickly reminded by bmi's marketing gurus about the mystery status of that enigmatic 'i'.
Passengers would ask what it stood for and we could only say, slightly red-faced, that it stood for nothing or was probably just the 'i' from Midland.
Nearly 10 years on and I finally have an answer, which crept out silently in bmi's press release this morning about the BA strike.
To quote their words: "Heathrow's second largest airline
10 years on, it seems like the pilots were right all along. What an anti-climax!
A quick call to bmi's press office and we received this explanation. "Our marketing branding people were looking for something to reinforce the brand in overseas markets. They were finding that bmi didn't mean an awful lot, particularly in the former BMed markets."
I guess that's one decade-old mystery cleared up then!