The Straits Times
Published on Dec 03, 2012

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


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.