BRITISH Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic have signed confidentiality agreements with Lufthansa over talks with its bmi airline, it is understood. <br /><br />The German carrier has opened its books at Bmi, offering limited due diligence to its rivals ahead of a potential sale of the airline. <br /><br />Bmi’s assets are desirable because they include slots at sought-after airport Heathrow.<br /><br />Other carriers, including Flybe and Middle-Eastern and US airlines are also believed to have expressed an interest in bmi’s books. <br /><br />But analysts said yesterday the airlines who have applied for the financial information may just be seeking a look at the competition, rather than taking an interest in buying.<br /><br />Earlier this year, Lufthansa bought a 50 per cent plus one share stake in Bmi and now owns up to 80 per cent. Scandinavian carrier SAS owns the rest of the company. <br /><br />Lufthansa and British Airways declined to comment on the talks yesterday. <br /><br />Meanwhile, the newly appointed chairman of Spain’s Iberia yesterday declined to comment on ongoing merger talks with British Airways (BA). BA and Iberia are set to hold a series of meetings in September, with the aim of reaching a new pre-agreement on the merger.