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Israir, Virgin in Joint Venture Talks

Richard Branson's Virgin group is negotiating a strategic alliance venture with Israir, under which the two airlines would exchange know-how and share advanced sales systems, including through the Internet. They might enter a code-sharing arrangement or possibly follow Virgin's Nigerian model, which involved a joint venture with a local airline, creating a company now branded Virgin Nigeria. Another possibility is that Israir, which is owned by Nochi Dankner and Avi Fisher, would work with Virgin Tourism. Until last month, Israir had been solely a charter flyer but now it runs regular routes from Israel, and is looking for ways to expand its supply of flights.