The rumor mill is churning with news reports that US Airways Group and UAL Group, the parent company of United Airlines, are once again discussing a merger. According to media reports, the talks are still in early stages and could disintegrate at any point.

What does this have to do with virtual offices? We'll get to that in a minute.

The merger talks come in the face of ongoing struggles in the airline industry. A merger would allow US Airways and United to cut operating expenses by eliminating duplicate functions within the company and eliminating duplicate routes where demand doesn’t sustain the flights.

As the airline industry continues to feel the pain, however, virtual offices and associated virtual technologies are getting momentum in the marketplace. Virtual offices let companies and their employees be more productive with less travel.

For example, a virtual office allows employees to telecommute at least part time while still tapping into the company’s phone systems. When companies subscribe to virtual office solutions, traveling employees can use day office space, meeting rooms and conference rooms at any Davinci Virtual location as a road warrior rest stop.

But more directly related to the merger talks between US Airways and United Airlines, virtual offices come with add on services like web conferencing that can significantly reduce and even eliminate the need for air travel. Davinci Virtual offers low-cost monthly access to Cisco’s WebEx to its virtual office customers, making it easy and affordable to tap into the service, and allowing companies to save thousand of dollars on airline travel and hotel expenses.