BA parent IAG has raised the prospect of it taking a stake in its Oneworld US partner American Airlines as it strives to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

In an interview with the Financial Times, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said the move was something it was looking at.

Subject to being given approval by US regulators any investment by IAG would help support the Oneworld global alliance by staving off rival bids for American.

Delta Airline has been linked with a potential move for American which would likely see the long-time BA partner move to the SkyTeam alliance.

Walsh told the FT: “If we can make the case [for investment in American] that there is additional strategic value to be achieved, then it is certainly something we are prepared to do.”

American’s parent AMR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November last year and has since been linked with a merger with either Delta or US Airways.

The latter deal would see US Airways switch from Star Alliance to Oneworld and Walsh backed this possibility saying a Delta-American merger was likely to be blocked.