Branson blows up Virgin Atlantic sale to AF-KLM

Richard Branson has pulled out of a deal to sell 31% of the airline to AirFrance-KLM Group.

Having established the Delta-AF-KLM-Virgin Atlantic joint venture which was approved on November 22nd, 31% was supposed to be sold to the Franco-Dutch combine.

Delta had paid AF-KLM over €300m for a stake in the group which they in turn were to use to buy a stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.

Branson said he no longer felt able to go through with it and has told all the parties involved though none of them are commenting.

This still leaves Virgin Group with a 51% controlling interest in the airline and 49% with Delta.

Delta would have had effective control of the airline through the AF-KLM holding – this puts an end to that part of the process.