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British Airways opens talks with Italian carrier Alitalia

British Airways yesterday announced talks with the Italian state carrier Alitalia about closer commercial links just days after its proposed three with merger appeared to fall apart. While there has been no official confirmation that talks with Iberia and Qantas have ended there is speculation in the market that the deal is not going as smoothly as planned. However, news that British Airways is in talks with a yet another potential partner would appear to open the door to further invitations from some of the world's largest airlines.

As we have covered on a number of occasions the US airline industry has been very keen to "jump into bed" with British Airways on a number of occasions. The fact that the company now seems adamant it needs and wants a merger could open the door to a regulator friendly merger with a US counterpart. This has the potential to change the whole landscape for long haul travel and it looks as though it will literally be first come first served as to who claims the top spot in the short to medium term.

The airline industry around the world is still struggling on the back of increased oil prices earlier in 2008 which severely impacted upon profitability and liquidity.

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