Dec 11 Delta Air Lines Inc said it was
buying Singapore Airlines Ltd's 49 percent stake in
Virgin Atlantic for $360 million, ending the Asian
airline's disappointing 12-year investment in the British
The sale by Singapore Airlines, 56 percent owned by state
investor Temasek, underscores its reduced reliance on
battered long-haul routes to Europe and the United States and
its deeper focus on Asia.
The sale by Singapore Airlines came after sources familiar
with the matter said Delta, the second-largest U.S. airline by
operating revenue after United Continental Holdings,
wants to gain access to Virgin's landing rights at London's
Heathrow is a lucrative hub for corporate passengers where
landing slots are hard to acquire.
The deal, which Delta said would lead to a trans-Atlantic
joint venture with Virgin Atlantic, is subject to regulatory
clearance in the United States and Europe.
Singapore Airlines bought 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic for
600 million pounds in 1999, but wrote off goodwill amounting to
96 percent of its purchase price of Virgin.