British Airways CEO Willie Walsh says that it and merger partner Iberia are looking at further acquisitions, raising the prospect that Qantas may again be a target for a merger with the European airlines.
Walsh told the Financial Times that there were 12 potential targets of the International Airlines Group, which is the new holding company which will own BA and Iberia after their merger is completed later this year. Walsh, who will become the IAG CEO, refused to identify any of the tarets, but analysts have speculated that the targets are likely to be other oneworld alliance airlines, including Qantas.
In response to the speculation, Qantas spokesman David Epstein denied that the airline had been in any merger or acquisition activity with BA or any other party in recent months.
In 2008 Qantas and BA held merger discussions which proposed that the two companies come under a new holding company with a dual-listed structure. The discussions eventually broke down due to issues with BA’s pension deficit and the valuation of Qantas.