The new chief of
Qantas has revealed the airline would look to Asia should merger talks with British Airways stall.
Alan Joyce also said the proposed merger faced a number of “major obstacles” and was anything but a certainty.Speaking publicly for the first time since BA-Qantas merger talk became public knowledge, he confirmed that the airline was not in talks with any other carrier, but would look at opportunities in Asia if the BA deal fell through.
He said: “There’s nothing on the plate at the moment but we’ll always continue to look at our options. That may occur in Asia and elsewhere,” said Mr Joyce.
The new Qantas CEO also said only one merger could take place, echoing last week’s words of Iberia chief Fernando Conte.
Mr Joyce, in a speech to a business lunch in Sydney, said a BA merger had the potential for major revenue and cost savings but, when later pressed by reporters on the issue, added it was still unclear if there were enough synergies to justify a deal.
On Saturday he met his BA counterpart, Willie Walsh, in Hong Kong to discuss the merger proposal, reported the Australian Financial Review.
The Australian government has threatened to quash the deal if it turns into an effective takeover of Qantas, which is protected by special legislation that forbids majority foreign ownership.