07 April 2014 at 08.18 GMT
Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with Delta is being examined by the European Commission as part of an investigation into unlawful foreign influence over European airlines, according to the Sunday Times.
The EU is also thought to be investigating at least four other airlines amid concerns that overseas investors may exert illegal influence.
Siim Kallas, the Estonian vice-presidenet of the European Commission, has ordered an enquiry into whether Virgin, Air Berlin, Czech Airlines and Cargolux, of Luxembourg, comply with laws requiring ownership and control to be in European hands, reported the newspaper.
Delta Air Lines bought a 49% stake in Virgin in 2012 and created a transatlantic joint venture. The airlines took the next step in their partnership last week when Delta relocated some of its key services to Heathrow’s Terminal 3, where it joins Virgin.
From April 2, Delta routes, including those to New York JFK, Boston and its new Seattle service, began to arrive and depart from T3.
The Commission said it had written to the CAA asking for assurances that Delta did not have undue control of Virgin.
A Virgin spokeswoman told the Sunday Times it had not received a request from the Commission for information, adding that the deal had been cleared by Europe’s competition authorities.
Sourced from Travel Weekly