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.