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Delta in talks to buy SIA's stake in Virgin Atlantic: Sources

Published on Dec 3, 2012 9:42 AM
A Virgin Atlantic aircraft comes in to land at Heathrow Airport, in London May 26, 2009. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK/LONDON (REUTERS) - Delta Air Lines Inc has held recent talks to buy a 49 percent stake in British carrier Virgin Atlantic that is currently held by Singapore Airlines, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Delta, the second-largest US airline by operating revenue after United Continental Holdings, has been looking to acquire a stake in Virgin Atlantic for more than two years in an effort to expand its access to London's Heathrow airport, the people said.

Previous deal talks broke down over price and other issues, and there is no guarantee that the recent discussions would result in a pact, the people said.

The European Union requires that EU carriers be under European control, meaning Delta would need to involve an EU airline if it sought majority control of Virgin.

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