BA links with Hong Kong airline

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The Independent Online
BRITISH AIRWAYS and American Airlines are expected to announce a link-up with Cathay Pacific on Monday morning. The link is likely also to involve the Australian flag-carrier, Qantas. BA has had a 25 per cent stake in Qantas since 1993 and already has code-sharing and joint marketing agreements with Qantas on routes between Australia and Europe.

The link with Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, widely leaked in recent weeks, would complement BA's existing code-sharing arrangement with Qantas, analysts said. "A loose code-sharing alliance with Cathay Pacific is unlikely to attract the attention of the regulators," said Keith McMullan, the editor of Aviation Strategy newsletter.

The alliance would rival the six-airline Star Alliance led by Lufthansa of Germany. Other possible participants in a BA-led alliance cited in recent speculation have included Spain's Iberia and Japan Airlines.