Virgin Atlantic receives enquiries about tie-ups

Image caption,
Virgin Atlantic said the process was at a very early stage

Virgin Atlantic has said it has received "a number of lines of enquiries" about potential tie-ups.

The airline added that negotiations were at "early stages", and that it was "far too early" to comment further.

Virgin said the approaches came after it hired Deutsche Bank last month to assess growth opportunities in the aviation industry.

It did not comment on reports that Delta Air Lines is interested in a merger.

Delta has also declined to comment.

"We expect Deutsche Bank's work to run on for a number of months but have nothing further to add at this stage," said Virgin Atlantic.

Sir Richard Branson, who owns 51% of Virgin Atlantic, had criticised the recently-completed merger of British Airways and Iberia on the grounds that it would increase fares and reduce competition.

But that deal, and others in the industry, prompted analysts to suggest Virgin Atlantic needed a tie-up to enable it to compete with much bigger airline groups in the industry.

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