After the report that Deutsche Lufthansa AG is in talks to buy a stake of about 20 percent in JetBlue Airways Corp., the shares of the latter jumped more than 14 percent.
JetBlue officials declined to comment on what they called "purely a rumor." Lufthansa officials also declined comment.
The New York Times reported on its Web site that talks were underway and an announcement could come as early as after the markets close on Thursday.
A sale of a stake in the airline could bring JetBlue a cash infusion as the carrier has been struggling. JetBlue stranded thousands of passengers across the northeast after a February ice storm socked the region on Valentine's Day. The incident cost founder David Neeleman his job as chief executive, though he remains chairman.
Long time President Dave Barger was named CEO, and has brought in experts to fix JetBlue's operations.
Selling a stake to Lufthansa would benefit both airlines by bringing each new sources of traffic, said Ray Neidl, an analyst at Calyon Securities in New York.
"It's probably better for Lufthansa than JetBlue," Neidl said.
But it would also put Lufthansa in the driver's seat for any potential longer-term takeover of JetBlue. Lufthansa is barred from such a takeover under current laws restricting foreign ownership of domestic airlines to 25 percent, but there have been attempts over the years to overturn that law, Neidl said.
JetBlue shares rose 88 cents, or 14.1 percent, to $7.13 in afternoon trading Thursday in New York. That is about 58 percent below their high for the past year. That is a far steeper drop than the American Airline Index average of a 36.75 percent decline.
The discovery of the submarine has unveiled a few "inconsistencies." For example, how can one explain the fact that the sub was found where it needed to be searched for from the start?
When on a state visit to Singapore, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to revisit the discussion of the 1956 Declaration between the USSR and Japan regarding the issue of the peace treaty with Japan
The TurkStream, which runs along the bottom of the Black Sea from Russia's Anapa to Turkey, will consist of two lines, each with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year