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BBT March/April 2019 cover
March/April 2019

Virgin Atlantic still mulling Flybe take-over

Aircraft with the new white and purple Flybe livery

Nearly a month after it first confirmed it was in talks with regional carrier Flybe, Virgin Atlantic has said it is still considering its options for a potential sale.

The airline said it “continues to review its options in respect of Flybe, including potentially making an offer”.

However, it warned that because discussions are continuing, “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made nor as to the terms upon which any offer may be made.”

Flybe put itself up for sale last month after it issued a profit warning. The Exeter-based carrier confirmed it was in talks with Virgin Atlantic following media speculation.

There are also rumours that International Airlines Group (IAG) and Easyjet are considering take-over bids, though Easyjet has since said it is not interested at the moment.

Such a take-over would be strategic for Easyjet, which has said it in the past it would consider buying slots at Heathrow – which Flybe already has – when the airport expands with a third runway.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic has announced it will bring in two extra aircraft in order to ensure schedules can be maintained over Christmas after the Professional Pilots Union (PPU) said its members would go on strike from 22-25 December, 30 December-2 January and 4-7 January in a row over proposed changes to pilot benefits.

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