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1-Aug-2011 3:32 PM

American Airlines president hopeful of full merger with British Airways

American Airlines president Tom Horton believes that restrictions on the foreign ownership of US carriers would be relaxed before he retires, giving hopes of a full merger with British Airways and Iberia (The Australian, 01-Aug-2011). The US restricts foreign ownership in domestic carriers to 25%, although Washington is under pressure from the EU to relax these rules. Mr Horton stated: "This alliance agreement with BA and IAG is effectively a synthetic merger. Over time - I think in my working lifetime - foreign ownership rules in the US will become more flexible. This alliance could form the basis of a cross-border merger between our airlines."