BA and Qantas merger talks crash

BA and Qantas’s merger talks have collapsed. Their proposed $6.4bn (£4.1bn) merger would have meant a dual-listed company in both Australia and the UK with one management. However, in a joint statement the airlines said that  they had “not been able to come to an agreement”.

Suggestions that there were problems in the negotiations began when the Australian government said that it would not rescind the requirment that Qantas should remain majority-owned by Australian investors and its head office and major facilities should stay in Australia. Word eventually emerged that the government would work with the two airlines to find a solution but last week Qantas chief executive, Alan Joyce, said that the merger still had several challenges to overcome.

When the news was revealed that BA had also approached Iberia and American Qantas began getting cold feet.

“It was always going to be a difficult marriage and clearly there are a lot of pressures from outside the relationship that are being applied – not least from Iberia and also within Qantas’s institutional base,” said Ian Thomas, of aviation consulting firm CAPA Consulting.

The two airlines will continue to work together as part of the 10-airline Oneworld global alliance.

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