6-Sep-2010 10:48 AM

British Airways shortlists 12 carriers for acquisition; signs codeshare with Kingfisher

British Airways CEO Willie Walsh stated the International Airlines Group (IAG), to be formed from the merger of BA and Iberia, has drawn up a shortlist of 12 international carriers identified as attractive investment or acquisition targets for IAG once the merger is complete (Economic Times/Telegraph/Live Mint, 05-Sep-2010). Mr Walsh named Kingfisher Airlines as “clearly the best partner” in India. According to Mr Walsh, if the Indian Government amends its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) legislation “all airlines around the world will look at the possibility to invest in Indian carriers. I have no doubt Indian carriers would welcome such foreign investment because airlines are looking at strengthening their financial position. Also, consolidation will help.”

Meanwhile, BA and Kingfisher signed a codeshare on 04-Sep-2010 for services across India, Sri Lanka, the UK and continental Europe (thehindubusinessline.com/Business Standard, 04-Sep-2010). According to the agreement, BA’s code will be placed on 11 domestic Indian routes and one route to Sri Lanka operated by Kingfisher while Kingfisher’s code will be placed on nine BA services from London-Heathrow to the UK regions and continental Europe. BA is sponsoring Kingfisher's oneworld membership with Kingfisher due to join the alliance in late 2011.

BA: "With Iberia, we have had a number of meetings where we have looked at airlines around the world and identified those that would be attractive to us in joining IAG. We are creating IAG in a way to ensure that it is scaleable and attractive to other airlines that might want to join us. This is just to give us a focus. We have not had any discussions with any airlines. There is nothing going on at the moment, we would not pursue all 12.” Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways.

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