Virgin Atlantic Says Several Parties Are Interested in Tie-Up

Virgin Atlantic Airways, the airline that said six months ago it is interested in a merger deal, has attracted approaches from several parties.

"We've received a number of lines of enquiry," Virgin spokesman Greg Dawson said in a statement, according to Bloomberg News.

Deutsche Bank AG's work on the plan will take a number of months and it's "far too early" to give details, Dawson said.

Dawson confirmed the discussions after Sky News reported that Delta Air Lines (DAL) was exploring a deal with Virgin.

Virgin is looking to boost its transatlantic operation to cope with increased competition from British Airways Plc and American Airlines (AMR). British billionaire Richard Branson owns a majority stake in Virgin Atlantic while Singapore Airlines also owns part of the company.

Virgin Atlantic is not part of the big three global alliances of carriers.

"Virgin Atlantic has got to be in some sort of alliance to get critical marketing mass," said Andrew Miller, chief executive officer of CAPA Consulting LLC. "In the new world where airlines are struggling to survive, doing it alone is going to be difficult"



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