Decision on BA alliance by autumn

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The Independent Online
No decision on the planned alliance between British Airways and American Airlines could be expected until autumn, said Karel van Miert, European Competition Commissioner. He said that, under the clearance procedure, the EU consultative committee had to be consulted twice and this would take the decision until after the EC's August break.

A spokesman for British Airways said: "Our view all along has been that timing is not the key issue; the end result is." He added that the company had "high hopes of progress in the USA" today when Robert Ayling, chief executive of BA, and Robert Crandall, chairman of AMR, the owner of American Airlines, appear at a Senate aviation hearing in Washington.