The only way VA is ever going to be truly successful is when only one airline owns it because there’s too many conflicting interests. DL buying HNA’s share won’t solve VA’s problems, it’ll just create new ones.
Perhaps it will, perhaps it won't - on the one hand it's replacing one airline shareholder with another, on the other hand it's hard to know whether DL would bring anything (either positive or negative) to VA that HU doesn't already. DL does, though, have a reputation for turning around struggling airlines - Aeromexico, Gol, Virgin Atlantic are the obvious ones, but they also mentored Garuda through its transformation and they've bid with the state-owned railway corporation to takeover Alitalia.
There's also the suggestion upthread that EY will look to sell their stake in VA later this year - I don't know the original source of that, nor how reliable that information is, but if it is true then DL may well look to buy out both EY and HU. That would make things hugely less complicated, and would free VA from two significant shareholders who are both struggling themselves.
You must live in a weird DL fanboy world. Aeromexico, Gol and Virgin Atlantic don’t have four major shareholders owning ~20% of the airline, whom each have a strategic reason to keep their ownership.
There’s no way SQ and EY are just going to let DL just come in and flex its muscle.
Actually, I'm much less a fan of DL than I used to be, and having been on this board for many years I can assure you I've never hit 'fanboy' status.
EY is itself in an unhealthy position which may be an incentive for them to sell out of VA. If, as some people expect, EY merges into EK, it would be unlikely the combined entity would retain a stake in VA given the existing relationship with a much bigger, more consistent and more viable QF. Or, if EY simply ceases trading, their shares in VA would be sold as part of the liquidation.
You may well be very right about SQ, and indeed you probably are. Personally, I think SQ has a lot of questions to answer in relation to VA. Why, for example, have they not flexed their own quite substantial muscle and made VA do something about things like the inconsistent product offering which are hurting VA's business? Why is SQ so content to just let a company it owns 20% of do some flying on its behalf, instead of stepping up to take proper competition to QF? Might SQ, in fact, be okay with DL or another airline buying into VA, making changes to improve VA's popularity and profitability, so long as doing so doesn't negatively affect SQ's connectivity in Australia, so that the value they derive from their VA shares increases? They were quite fun selling 49% of VS to DL when they couldn't/didn't make anything of VS themselves but maintaining their operational relationship with VS.
I'm not being a DL fanboy about this, and there are other names you could insert into my posts in place of DL while still making the same point. All I'm really saying is that it would be great to see a shareholder actively working on making VA a better player, and there are existing shareholders who might have their own reasons to make way for such a shareholder. Be it DL or not, I'm not overly bothered (DL was raised by someone else, and I'm simply agreeing they have priors in this respect), but it's about time VA had a shareholder do something positive for them. In that sense, I completely agree with you that less airline shareholders would likely be better for VA.