AirAsia 'ponders takeover bid for Virgin Atlantic'

The chief executive of Malaysia's AirAsia is reported to be considering a possible takeover bid for airline Virgin Atlantic.

Tony Fernandes, who runs Asia's largest budget carrier by fleet size, is understood to have renewed his interest in the UK airline after previously considering and deciding against a bid.

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Any deal could be worth up to 1bn.

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has a 51 per cent stake in the airline he founded in 1984. Singapore Airlines paid 600m for a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic in 2000.

The UK airline said earlier this month it had received several "lines of enquiry" about tie-ups with rivals after it hired Deutsche Bank to assess the aviation market.