Virgin in talks with Lufthansa over BMI

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Virgin Atlantic is in discussions with Lufthansa concerning the future of BMI, in which the German carrier is shortly to hold an 80% share.

The UK long-haul operator has frequently identified BMI as a good prospective partner.

In a statement today Virgin says: "Virgin Atlantic can confirm that it is holding talks with Lufthansa regarding the future of BMI.

"These discussions may or may not lead to an agreement and a further announcement will be made in due course."

Virgin Atlantic chief Steve Ridgway has previously commented on the strategic fit between Virgin's long-haul services and the short-haul operation of BMI at London Heathrow, saying this would "make a lot of sense".

Combination of Virgin and BMI at the London hub would create a strong rival to British Airways at its home base.