Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, says he expects to reach an alliance agreement within a year. Deutsche Bank has been appointed to seek new options for the airline which has been buoyed into action following British Airways’ alliance with American Airlines. “We’ve enjoyed being independent but we think that having some kind of alliance attached to Virgin Atlantic will make us that much stronger,” Branson said. “We’re going to need a big brother to take us through the next 30 years.” Branson’s Virgin Group owns 51% of Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines owns a 49% stake, which it

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