Delta Buys Stake in Virgin Atlantic

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(Atlanta, GA)  Delta Air Lines announced Tuesday that it is purchasing a stake in Virgin Atlantic.

The Atlanta-based carrier will purchase a 49% stake in Sir Richard Branson’s airline from Singapore Airlines. Branson will keep his 51% share of the airline, which will keep its current branding.

The $360 million deal still has to be approved by regulatory boards in the U.S. and Europe, but the sale is expected to close by the end of 2013.

The deal will allow Delta and Virgin Atlantic to offer 31 daily round-trip flights between the U.S. and London’s Heathrow Airport.

Delta currently operates 11 hubs worldwide, including one at Memphis International Airport.