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Virgin Atlantic in talks about Flybe takeover

By Mark Kleinman, City editor
Virgin Atlantic, the carrier part-owned by Sir Richard Branson, is in talks about a surprise takeover bid for Flybe, the regional airline that last week bowed to growing financial pressure and put itself up for sale.
Sky News has learnt that Virgin Atlantic has opened discussions with Flybe's advisers about making an offer for the London-listed company, four years after announcing the closure of Little Red, an earlier attempt to crack the domestic UK market.
Sources said the transatlantic airline was pursuing an interest in Flybe because of the opportunities a tie-up would provide to feed passenger traffic into Virgin Atlantic's long-haul network, as well as its access to valuable take-off and landing slots at London Heathrow Airport which are ring-fenced for domestic flights.
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