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Seamless flight connections

[January 12th 2009]

Virgin Atlantic and bmi have decided to expand their codeshare agreement as speculation mounts about a possible merger between the two airlines.

The existing codeshare agreement is being expanded so that passengers travelling on bmi’s UK domestic and Middle East networks can benefit from seamless connections with Virgin Atlantic’s North American services.

Virgin Atlantic passengers are now able to connect with bmi flights at Heathrow airport on the following routes: New York JFK to/from Amman, Beirut, Tel Aviv and Tehran; Newark to/from Amman, Beirut and Tel Aviv; Boston to/from Amman and Beirut; and Los Angeles to/from Tehran.

Customers of Virgin Atlantic will also be able to make bookings to travel to and from the airline’s long-haul destinations and the following UK airports served by bmi: Aberdeen, Belfast, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, and Manchester.

“This codeshare extension gives customers even more choice of journeys via Heathrow on two great partner airlines, Virgin Atlantic and bmi. We are delighted to work more closely with bmi to provide our customers with access to its excellent Middle Eastern and domestic network,” says Virgin Atlantic director commercial and revenue planning, Edmond Rose.

“We are pleased to extend our codeshare agreement with Virgin Atlantic, providing customers with greater access to our strong domestic route network and growing range of destinations in the Middle East,” comments bmi commercial director, Martyn Bridger.

The existing codeshare agreement enables passengers on Virgin Atlantic’s global network to connect easily at Heathrow airport onto bmi services to and from Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Hanover, Venice and Palma.

According to a report in yesterday’s Sunday Times, Virgin Atlantic is keen on a merger with bmi, which itself was recently acquired by German airline Lufthansa. Virgin Atlantic is celebrating its 25th birthday this year and is one of a number of airlines to launch a sale recently as the air fares war intensifies. The airline has also been linked with a bid for Gatwick airport which is being sold by owner BAA.

Written by: Nick Purdom