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Will British Airways Be Forced To Give Up Heathrow Slots?

British Airways has fought tooth and nail for years to keep its priceless runway slots at Heathrow but it seems that the US regulators looking at the proposed tie-up with American Airlines and Iberia are looking for major concessions. While they have British Airways over a barrel to some extent the rumoured demand for up to 10 Heathrow slots a day is something which British Airways is unlikely to hand over. Why should they?

Even though this is all just rumour at the moment it is well known that the US authorities have been trying to get their hands on Heathrow runway slots for many years but to no avail. Willie Walsh, the chief exec of British Airways, has questioned why they should be expected to give up any slots and the rationale behind the idea. However, those close to the talks suggest that the US authorities will continue to play hard ball as they did just a few years ago when they blocked such an alliance.

Those familiar with the airline industry will know that Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world and central to the whole industry. Increased exposure to this travel route would be priceless to the recipient of the runway slots.

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