The question I answered about bmi's service from ORD and IAD raised the question of why a company based in Houston should use bmi for the ORD - MAN sector when Continental fly EWR - MAN
(I also am pre-empting the usual flag wavers wanting to know why a US company would use a British airline).
The answer is that bmi operate Aberdeen (which is the UK HQ) - MAN and offered the company rates for the whole journey which pretty much equated to giving the ORD- IAH sector for free.
For the flag wavers, all the tickets are issued by bmi in the UK with United flight numbers for the MAN - ORD and v.v. sector, as the flights across the pond are Star Alliance code share.