Delta: single large airline looking for Virgin partner

I hope you haven’t become too attached to Virgin Atlantic. The airline has gotten its share of calls lately about potential mergers, but they are qualified with expressions like “early stages” and “far too early” to say anything about. This isn’t all that surprising, given the strength of its brand and the fact that the airline hired Deutsche Bank to help it evaluate its available growth opportunities.

Word on the street is that Delta is sniffing around, but neither Delta nor Virgin Atlantic would say anything about it.

The notion of a merger with an airline of Delta’s size is interesting, as majority owner of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson, didn’t have much in the way of positive commentary for the British Airways/Iberia deal, which he believed would lead to higher prices and lower competition.

But, the aviation business is feeling the urge to merge, and analysts are saying that Virgin Atlantic needs a big buddy in order to compete effectively, the BBC reports.

[photo by eisenbahner via Flickr]