American Airlines and British Airways are making a third stab at a joint business agreement—and this time, reports the New York Times, the deal might actually go through. American, BA, and the Spanish carrier Iberia are applying for antitrust approval to form a global network. The CEO of American's parent company today predicted that the arrangement would win "swift approval" amid loosened regulations in a collapsing industry.
In March, the US and the EU signed an "open skies" accord that liberalized transatlantic air traffic, making it much easier for airlines to form partnerships. Earlier this year Air France teamed up with Delta and Northwest to form the world's largest alliance. Yet even if the American-BA-Iberia deal gets the expected clearance, American's pilots would still have to approve the deal—and their union has called the merger "problematic on several fronts."