IAG mulls stake in American to safeguard Oneworld alliance

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BRITISH AIRWAYS owner IAG is considering taking a stake in beleaguered US carrier American Airlines, according to the firm’s chief executive Willie Walsh.

Taking a small holding in the firm in order to protect the Oneworld ticketing alliance is “something we are going to look at”, Walsh told the Financial Times.

“If we can make the case that there is additional strategic value to be achieved, then it is certainly something we are prepared to do,” he added.

American Airlines’ parent company AMR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, citing spiralling costs.

The global slowdown has claimed several airlines in the wake of the financial crisis while others, including BMI and British Airways itself, have opted for strength in numbers through mergers and takeovers. The Oneworld alliance is made up of 20 carriers globally and competes with SkyTeam.