Australian carrier Virgin Blue has denied media reports in the country that it had reached a deal to raise up to A$400 million ($312 million) in fresh funds.

Trading in the shares of the Virgin Blue Group was suspended amid reports that the company had reached an agreement with an investor to bolster its balance sheet and finance a proposed joint venture with Delta Air Lines. This was lifted after the airline issued a statement denying the news reports.

"Given the prevailing macro-economic conditions, Virgin Blue Airlines Group assesses capital management initiatives as appropriate. However, the board has not approved any such transaction as has been reported," says the airline.

Virgin Blue and Delta said on 9 July that they are seeking to form a joint venture that "expands their reach "between the USA and Australia and the South Pacific". The deal includes collaboration on routes and product planning.

Apart from Virgin Blue, the group also includes long-haul operation V Australia, New Zealand-based Pacific Blue and Samoa-based Polynesian Blue.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news