Virgin Atlantic raises prospect of bmi alliance

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Car Rental News - 30/10/2008


With Lufthansa’s acquisition of bmi, Virgin Atlantic’s chief executive suggests joining forces.

Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic’s chief exec, put forth his thoughts in a statement that the airline issued on Thursday: "Everyone has speculated that it would make sense for Virgin Atlantic and bmi to combine their long-haul and short-haul networks. There is now a major opportunity to do that and create a new and even more effective competitor to British Airways.”

The airline boss went on to say: "I am sure that Lufthansa realises the future opportunities and this could be a really good example of the right industry consolidation. It would be good for consumers, for UK plc and European aviation’s competitiveness."

Sir Michael Bishop, according to Ridgway, is an icon of the aviation industry. "He has been a considerable force in championing the cause of the consumer and, along with Virgin Atlantic, has helped to provide much-needed competition to BA, and choice for consumers."

Ridgway emphasized the importance of the ownership change: "Now we are about to enter the next phase of bmi's future and a turning point in aviation."

On Thursday, airline industry analysts were informed of Lufthansa's purchase of the controlling stake in bmi.

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