News Further consolidation afoot

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Further consolidation afoot

Further consolidation afoot

Consolidation in the US airline industry could be heading to the UK as British Airways (BA) confirms it is in talks with American Airlines and Continental Airlines.

BA has confirmed that it is "exploring opportunities" with the two US carriers, with experts predicting the move could go ahead following other recent merger and acquisition activity in the aviation industry.

Panmure Gordon, an analyst from Gert Zonneveld, told the Press Association that the deal could be cleared by competition authorities following the recent tie-up between Delta and Northwest.

She explained: "BA’s efforts in the past to apply for antitrust immunity with America have failed because the regulatory price for such an agreement, in terms of giving up slots, was too high. With Open Skies in place, and with airline consolidation underway in the US following the deal between Delta and Northwest, antitrust immunity may now be possible."

There is further evidence of consolidation in the wider airline industry with Singapore-based Jetstar Asia’s considering a bid to invest in Taiwan’s Far Eastern Air Transport.

Meanwhile South African news provider Independent Online has reported that Nationwide, which yesterday announced it was ceasing operations after it became the latest airline to fall foul of increased oil prices, has reportedly had two "very, very large" international airlines express an interest in buying the airline.