The parent company of British Airways has agreed to end a long-standing partnership with Australian airline Qantas, it was announced today.
The two airline companies are to terminate their joint business venture after 17 years, with Qantas entering a new global partnership with Middle Eastern carrier Emirates.
International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of BA, said it was now talking with a number of airlines about alternative options.
It added that the split, which will come into force at the end of March 2013, would not have any negative impact on its financial targets.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: "We're ending the joint business on amicable terms and support Qantas' decision to work with Emirates.
"The world has changed since 1995 when the joint business started.
"This is a small part of our overall network and this move fits in with changes in our global strategy.
"Asia has become a key market focus for IAG and we're talking to a number of airlines about alternative options for us."
Under the joint business, which was established in 1995, BA and Qantas share revenue and costs on all services between the UK and Australia.
Customers due to travel after March 31 next year whose bookings may be affected by the move will be contacted by British Airways to discuss alternative travel options, IAG said.