Delta Buys 49 Percent Stake In Virgin Atlantic

December 11, 2012 8:28 AM
Delta Buys 49 Percent Stake In Virgin Atlantic
" ATLANTA (AP) – Delta Air Lines said it will buy almost half of Virgin Atlantic for $360 million as it seeks a bigger share of the lucrative New York-to-London travel market.

Delta plans to form a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic, where the two airlines would share money from the flights operated under the partnership. In order to coordinate the schedules of the two airlines, they’ll need antitrust approval from U.S. and European regulators.

Landing rights at London’s Heathrow Airport are limited. So buying part of Virgin Atlantic is a way for Delta to get a bigger piece of the travel market between Heathrow and the U.S. Currently, Delta has fewer flights from the New York area to Heathrow than either American or United, its main U.S. competitors.

If the plan is approved, Delta and Virgin Atlantic would continue to fly between the U.S. and the U.K., as they do now. However, they would market the flights together and share the costs and profits.

Delta said it expects to have 31 round-trip flights between the U.K. and North America on the busiest days, including nine round-trips a day between Heathrow and John F "

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