Delta Airlines eyes AMR Corp: Reports

Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc were up yesterday following a report that the world's second-biggest airline was eyeing Fort Worth-based American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp.

According to a Wall Street Journal report Delta and buyout firm TPG Capital were separately looking at AMR, which was in the early stages of a reorganisation in the bankruptcy process.

The airline has benefited from three big mergers since 2008, which reduced competition and made it easier to hike prices. A deal among the mergers saw Delta buy Northwest.

American left out in merger fest fell from first to third among the world's biggest airlines by passenger traffic. US Airways Group Inc, which sought to buy Delta out of bankruptcy in 2006, is widely seen as a possible contender for AMR.

Delta shares were up 26 cents, or 3 per cent, to close at $8.87 after hitting $8.98 earlier in the day. The stock has touched levels between $6.41 and $12.81 over the past 52 weeks.

According to Standard & Poor's airline analyst Jim Corridore he had doubts whether regulators would let Delta buy American. He added the combined airline would be too big even after sale of some assets. Delta ranked as the world's biggest airline for a brief period until United combined with Continental in 2010.