Monday, December 3, 2012

Heathrow Slots Behind Delta Interest in Virgin Atlantic

Reports today indicate that Delta has entered discussions regarding the acquisition of Singapore Airlines' 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic. Delta appears primarily interested in access to Virgin Atlantic's Heathrow slots. Virgin has control over more Heathrow slots than any carrier except British Airways, and was recently was awarded all of the slots BA was forced to divest to secure approval of its acquisition of bmi. There is speculation that one of Delta's SkyTeam partners, such as Air France-KLM, might be interested in purchasing a small amount of shares from Richard Branson to give the allies an effective controlling stake in Virgin Atlantic, but Branson says he is not selling.

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