YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Preview / Oct. 6 - 12

Airlines May Take New Look at Merger

October 06, 2003|From Reuters

British Airways executives said Sunday that they could potentially revive a long-sought merger plan with American Airlines.

"Is it something that we'd look at? I suppose it is," a British Airways spokesman said, but played down the idea that a merger would happen anytime soon.

British Airways said if regulators cleared a takeover of Dutch carrier KLM by Air France, it would look at the option of merging with Fort Worth-based American Airlines.

The British carrier has insisted that European regulators in Brussels should ensure an Air France-KLM deal did not reduce competition, especially across the North Atlantic routes.

British Airways and American have had plans for a virtual merger on transatlantic routes blocked in the past by regulators who demanded the two airlines give up hundreds of valuable takeoff and landing slots at London's Heathrow Airport.

British Airways has said Spain's Iberia was its preferred merger partner in any European industry consolidation.

But its spokesman said British Airways' main focus was on cost cutting. Europe's biggest airline said Friday that it had not yet reached its target of 13,000 job cuts despite setting a September deadline.

Los Angeles Times Articles