PHOTO PHOTO: An airport worker examines a flybe aircraft before taking off from Liverpool airport John Lennon from Liverpool, northern England, May 19, 2016. REUTERS / Phil Noble
(Reuters) – Flybe Group Plc (FLYB.L) on Monday after the Sunday Telegraph reported that Richard Branson founded Virgin Atlantic and the owner of British Airways IAGICAG.L) will fight to buy the regional airline.
Flybe had several-party talks to sell himself while struggling with falling demand, higher fuel costs and a British pound. On Friday, Virgin said he was the potential buyer.
IAG is a frontman in the race to buy Flybe, Sunday Telegraph said on Saturday, citing industry sources. Sky News has previously reported that Stobart (STOB.L) was also a likely contender.
Flybe declined to comment when he was contacted on Monday by Reuters, while IAG did not immediately respond to a comment request.
Meanwhile, EasyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYA.I) said they were not interested in buying Flybe.
Flybe also said he would consider other options beyond a sale, such as additional capacity and cost cuts.
IAG shares rose 1.4% to 657.4 pence at 0840 GMT.
Reporting Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar