Virgin and BMI increase their codeshare ties

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UK carriers Virgin Atlantic Airways and BMI are expanding their codeshare, furthering their co-operation as BMI works to finalise its new majority ownership under German Star Alliance partner Lufthansa.

Last October Lufthansa revealed it was increasing its BMI shareholding from just under 30% to 80% under a deal which was not expected to be completed before today. The change of ownership sparked interest from Virgin, which has long been vocal about its BMI tie-up ambitions.

Building on their existing codeshare arrangement, Virgin Atlantic and BMI say they have expanded their partnership to give passengers improved connections between Virgin Atlantic's North American flights and BMI's domestic and Middle East network.

Virgin Atlantic director of commercial and revenue planning Edmond Rose says: "We are delighted to work more closely with BMI."

The deal covers Virgin's Boston, New York JFK, Newark and Los Angeles services, connecting with BMI's Heathrow-originating destinations including Amman, Beirut, Tel Aviv and Tehran.

Virgin's passengers will also be able to book BMI-operated onward domestic flights to Aberdeen, Belfast, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Manchester.