Austrian, BMI, Swiss to join Star transatlantic joint venture

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Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines, British Midland International (BMI) and Swiss International Air Lines are to join the immunised transatlantic joint venture established in 2009 by their parent company and three of its Star Alliance partners.

A Lufthansa spokesman confirms that the three carriers will join the joint venture this summer "as sub-brands of Lufthansa, not as individual partners".

It has not been decided whether the three carriers will participate in the revenue-sharing portion of the joint venture, says the spokesman, adding that this "depends on the individual airlines".

Air Canada, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa and United Airlines received regulatory approval for the joint venture in 2009. It was established to rival a similar arrangement between Delta Air Lines and its SkyTeam partners.