British Airways 'close' to American Airlines tie-up


British Airways 'close' to American Airlines tie-up
British Airways is making a third attempt to merge with its partner, American Airlines.

The airline has made two attempts at the deal in the past but has been turned back by US regulators due to strict competition laws.

Willie Walsh, British Airway's chief executive, said "We want to move on this as soon as possible," with a deal expected to be completed within a fortnight.

The two airlines want to run their transatlantic operations as a single company but applications to the regulator where turned down in 1997 and again in 2002.

American Airlines and British Airways already share some costs including flight and airport capacity. However, this deal could see them forge a closer relationship and cut costs in other areas.

The talks are taking place alongside negotiations for British Airways to merge with Spanish carrier Iberia, which was announced last week.

British Airways recently admitted an 88 per cent fall in profits as fuel prices made a serious dent in the airline's margins.

The company is now seeking to cut costs by making efficiencies throughout its business.

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