No Merger Yet for Quantas/British Airways

Qantas Airways Ltd. and British Airways have been unable to agree on the terms of a proposed merger that both carriers had hoped would help them fend off an industry downturn.

The airlines released identical statements on Thursday, saying, "Despite the potential longer term benefits for Qantas and BA, the airlines have not been able to come to an agreement over the key terms of the merger, at this time." The statement said the airlines would continue to work on their joint business between Australia and the United Kingdom through the Oneworld global alliance, which brings together 10 of the world's carriers in a code-sharing partnership.

The two airlines explored a potential merger by way of a "dual-listed company structure" in which each company would retain its name and branding. They gave no other details.

Analysts have been expecting consolidation in the aviation industry because the global economic crisis combined with soaring oil prices earlier this year have severely crimped passenger demand.