December 2, 2008

British Airways seeking merger with Qantas

British Airways said Tuesday it was considering a merger with Australia's Qantas Airways.

BA said there was no guarantee that any transaction will be forthcoming, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.

But the company also said a merger would create a company listed in both Britain and Australia.

Under current law, Australian airlines must be 51 percent Australian-owned and no individual foreign company can own more than 25 percent. However, the government has hinted it may relax the rules.

On Tuesday, Australian Transport Minister Anthony Albanese proposed an increase on the limit of ownership by a individual foreign airline to 49 percent.

This announcement is further evidence of the current difficulties within the civil aviation industry. BA is continually searching for consolidation partners, said Brian Boyd, national officer for the British union Unite.