Trading in the shares of the Virgin Blue Group has been suspended on the Australian stock exchange amid reports that it plans to raise up to A$400 million ($312 million) in fresh funds.

Australian newspapers say that Virgin Blue's parent hopes to use the cash to bolster its balance sheet and finance a proposed joint venture with Delta Air Lines. Virgin Blue spokespersons could not be contacted for a comment.

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