Air France, Delta to examine Virgin Atlantic bid - report

LONDON (Reuters) - Air France-KLM AIRF.PA, Europe's largest airline by revenue, and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines DAL.N are working together to examine a bid for Virgin Atlantic VA.UL, the Sunday Times reported, citing no sources.

The consortium is trying to tempt Virgin into joining the Skyteam alliance and has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser, the paper said.

Virgin Atlantic responded with a statement that said: “Virgin Atlantic is a strong, independent business with a good growth position at both London Heathrow and Gatwick so we are not surprised that there is interest in us.”

The company added that it could not comment any further at this stage.

Virgin founder Richard Branson retained a 51 percent stake in the airline, while Singapore Airlines SIAL.SI holds the remainder.

Reporting by Julie Crust and Rhys Jones; editing by Sophie Walker