German-based carrier Lufthansa has announced that it has boosted its stake in BMI to 80 per cent, meaning that it now has a majority control in the company.

German-based carrier Lufthansa has announced that it has boosted its stake in BMI to 80 per cent, meaning that it now has a majority control in the company.

This makes the airline the second biggest at London Heathrow Airport and raises its profile in the trans-Atlantic market.

Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said the deal will help BMI and Virgin to combine their networks and to successfully rival British Airways.

Last month, it emerged that Lufthansa had been voted the best airline in Europe in a survey of over 15 million passengers carried out by Skytrax up to August 2008.

In the same month, the airline also said it would introduce mobile boarding passes for its Heathrow passengers in a bid to improve customer services.

Lufthansa is the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried and offers flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg, India and Thailand, among other destinations.

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