British Air, Qantas Merger Talks Crash

$6 billion deal won't fly after airlines disagree on key issues
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 18, 2008 8:13 AM CST
A British tourist reads a newspaper next to a British Airways sign after checking in at a counter for Qantas and British Airways airlines in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A $6 billion merger between British Airways and Qantas Airways that would have created a global carrier failed to fly after the two sides couldn’t agree on who would control the business, reports Bloomberg. The decision frees BA to pursue talks with Spain’s Iberia. Qantas is likely to pursue an Asian airline that could better complement its business.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the deal would have offered the carriers “long term benefits,” but has been pessimistic about the airlines being able to reach a deal from the onset, citing market value and pension issues, reports the Wall Street Journal. The news of the failed talks sent BA’s stock down in early trading while Qantas gained.