BA mulls Qatar Asian alliance

British Airways parent International Airlines Group is today reported to be talking to Qatar Airways over an Asian-focused alliance.

The speculation emerged in the wake of Qantas breaking off a joint venture on routes between the UK and Australia from March in favour of a new alliance with Emirates.

A source close to the situation told the Financial Times that IAG has held discussions with three airlines, including Qatar Airways, over the possibility of an Asian focused-partnership.

Gerald Khoo, analyst at investment bank Espirito Santo, told the FT that Qatar Airways was the most likely candidate with which IAG could form a partnership.

“This would offer one-stop connections to Asian destinations and Australia in a mirror image of the Qantas/Emirates arrangement,” he said.

IAG chief executive said yesterday in the wake of the Qantas announcement: “Asia has become a key focus for IAG and we’re talking to a number of airlines about alternative options for us.”

Qatar Airways declined to comment on the speculation.

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