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Virgin continues to circle Flybe

Virgin Atlantic is still reviewing its options with regard to Flybe a month after first disclosing its interest in the UK regional carrier.

In a stock market notice issued today, Virgin says discussions with Flybe’s management team are continuing and that these include "potentially making an offer" for the Exeter-based airline.

The London-based carrier disclosed its interest in Flybe on 23 November.

Since Flybe disclosed it was putting itself up for sale in mid-November, Virgin is the only party to confirm it is in talks with the regional carrier.

UK media reports have though linked Stobart and IAG as potential suitors. Stobart had an offer rejected for Flybe earlier this year, while IAG - whose British Airways unit remains a small shareholder in Flybe dating back to its sale of BA Connect - has been an active player in airline acquisitions, including the former BMI operation. Both companies have declined to comment on these reports.

Virgin says that in accordance with UK takeover and merger rules, it will place a copy of the announcement on its corporate website no later than noon on 20 December.

Virgin discloses that law firm Rothschild & Sons is acting for it in relation to the talks with Flybe.

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