FT reports Qatar and BA could link to take on Emirates-Qantas partnership
British Airways and its parent International Airlines Group (IAG) are planning to react quickly the threat to Asian and Oceanic markets following the partnership between Emirates and Qantas announced last week.
Qantas has ended a 17-year relationship with BA to boost its international business through links with the Dubai airline.
However, according to London’s Financial Times newspaper, IAG has reacted by holding talks with Doha’s Qatar Airways to form a similar partnership to match the EK-QA deal.
Qatar Airways is not commenting on the talks but Willie Walsh, the former CEO of BA and now head of IAG told the FT, that the joint venture with Qantas was ending on “amicable terms”, adding it was a “small part” of the group’s network and therefore would not jeopardise its financial targets.
However, he added: “Asia has become a key focus for IAG and we’re talking to a number of airlines about alternative options for us.” The FT reported that Walsh had expressed admiration for the Doha-based carrier.
Unlike the two major UAE carriers, Qatar has not been dismissive of alliances and with the exception of an investment into a cargo airline, has not been involved in equity deals with other airlines in the way Etihad has done.