BA seeks to keep AA in Oneworld

BA seeks to keep AA in Oneworld
By admin

International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways is exploring the possibility of taking a minority stake in American Airlines as it aims to cement the US carrier’s membership of Oneworld.

With American’s parent firm, AMR, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and looking to reduce operating costs, Delta Air Lines has emerged as a potential buyer of the carrier.

Such a deal could have wide ranging implications for BA and Qantas who have both forged alliances with American.

Delta is a member of SkyTeam and a deal for American could see the US airline leave Oneworld.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh told the UK’s Financial Times that investing in American was “something we are going to look at”.

“If we can make the case that there is additional strategic value to be achieved then it is certainly something we are prepared to do,” he was quoted as saying.

Walsh pointed to Delta’s 5% investment in Brazilian carrier Gol as an example of a small stake providing benefits way beyond the scale of the investment.

The deal gave Delta a seat on Gol’s board and was regarded by analysts as eliminating the risk of the South American airline quitting SkyTeam for Oneworld. IAG would hope for a similar scenario if it invests in American.

The situation will be closely monitored by Qantas which has struck a deep commercial relationship with American Airlines with codeshares from Dallas Fort Worth to several onward US ports.

American is pivotal in developing Qantas’s gateway strategy which forms part of a plan to restore profitability to its international arm.

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