Virgin Atlantic wants to hold negotiations with Air France KLM and Alitalia on potential joint ventures.

Sir Richard Branson’s airline is already planning a transatlantic joint venture with Delta and could also look to add more routes to Asia, Africa and the Middle East through further tie-ups with Air France-KLM and Alitalia.

Julie Southern, Virgin Atlantic’s chief commercial officer, told The Financial Times: “We are very interested in exploring what further co-operation opportunities there are, particularly with Air France KLM and Alitalia, but no detailed discussions have happened yet. We look forward to engaging on that in the coming months.”

All three European airlines – as well as Delta – are currently members of Skyteam. Virgin has said it will also assess whether it should join the alliance.

Air France KLM and Delta, which has agreed to buy Singapore Airlines’ 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic, also already operates a joint venture across the Atlantic.  

Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Air France KLM’s CEO, said the aviation giant could consider a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic on some Asian and African routes.

Virgin Atlantic has just launched its first UK domestic services from Heathrow to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen under its new Little Red brand. The airline is using former Bmi slots at Heathrow to run its domestic network.

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