Virgin Atlantic has initiated its next move in a price war with rival airline British Airways by announcing a reduction in its business class fares. Virgin is expected to offer reductions of up to 40 per cent on its upper class services to retain its premium passenger bookings during the economic downturn. The airline's Business class services to Boston will now be priced at Â£1,199, a reduction of 38 per cent, while flights to New York will be discounted by 40 per cent to Â£1,099. British Airways has claimed to be against reduced-price business class fares in the past, but is expected to follow Virgin's lead to avoid losing its market share. Recent figures show that British Airways saw a 12. 1 per cent fall in premium traffic during December 2008, so price cuts to match those offered by Virgin could provide a welcome boost. Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic started to cut their fares to customers last month by reducing their respective fuel surcharges.