British Airways and Qantas, the Australian airline, have confirmed they are in talks over a potential merger. The deal will not affect BA’s revenue-sharing deals with American Airlines and Spanish airline, Iberia.
In a statement, BA says if the deal goes ahead it will be a duel-listed company based in both the UK and Australia.
BA and Qantas are already partners in the Oneworld global alliance, which brings together 10 of the world’s carriers. It is thought that the potential merger could provide consolidation for the hard-hit aviation industry.
Under the current Australian law, Qantas must be at least 51% Australian-owned and any individual foreign airline could only own up to 25% of it. Also, only a total of 35% may be owned by foreign airlines.
BA held an 18.25% stake in Qantas for 11 years until selling it off in 2004. It sold the stake to raise money to pay off some of its debt.