British Airways/Qantas Merger?

The New York Times repots that British Airways has been in talks with Australian carrier Qantas Airways that could lead to a merger.

Qantas could not be reached for comment, and British Airways cautioned that there was no guarantee a deal with Qantas would be reached.

In other news, British Airways said the talks about a potential combination with the Spanish carrier Iberia, announced in July, were continuing. In August, American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia Airlines signed a joint business agreement for flights between the U.S. and Europe, and are seeking antitrust approval for that arrangement. The addition of Qantas would add a significant Asia-Pacific element to that grouping.

The Times reports that shares of British Airways, which have lost 53 percent of their value this year, rose 15 percent in London after the announcement.

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