British Airways and Qantas Crank Up the Merger Machine


It seems that we have news of a merger a minute these days — but nothing U.S. based. Yet.

This morning, hot on the heels of the news that Ryanair was once again mounting a hostile attempt to take over the 70% of Aer Lingus it does not currently control (a move which, not surprisingly the Aer Lingus management team quickly denounced) today we have news of an attempt at a true blockbuster link-up.

British Airways and Qantas are apparently in discussions to do the dastardly deed.

According to Bloomberg,

“The airlines are discussing a combination after the Australian government said today in a policy paper that it might ax a rule barring individual foreign holdings of more than 25 percent and total foreign airline holdings of more than 35 percent. Still, there are no plans to abandon the so-called “Qantas Sale Act” that says the carrier must remain 51 percent locally owned.

‘Any transaction would also comply fully with Qantas’s Sale Act and Australia’s international Air Services Agreements,’ Qantas said separately.

Negotiations on a merger are “advanced,” the Australian Financial Review said earlier. British Airways, Europe’s third-biggest carrier after Air France-KLM group and Deutsche Lufthansa, said it issued today’s statement in response to “media speculation.”

A merger of the two airlines would create an entity with annual sales of about $23 billion.

What a coincidence.AMR, parent of American Airlines also generates about $23 million in annual revenue.

And yes, you’d have to a blind person not to see why it is that the American Airlines-British Airways anti-trust piece of the pie is so important to this oneworld concept of world domination.

According to various reports out this morning, both airlines would retain their own brands. Sounds like another Air France/KLM type of set-up that is being proposed.