International Airlines Group (IAG) has revealed its interest in taking a stake in Japan Airlines (JAL), after the Asian carrier emerged from bankruptcy proceedings.
IAG was formed earlier this year following the merger of British Airways and Iberia of Spain.
In an interview earlier this week, newly appointed IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, said the organisation was considering further expansion.
“JAL has done a fantastic job,” Walsh told Bloomberg.
“If the opportunity arises we would definitely be looking at deepening the relationship and we would not rule out some equity participation.”
JAL has made radical reductions to its staff and fleet since filing for bankruptcy in January last year.
Mr Walsh acknowledged that Japanese law forbids outright foreign ownership of its airlines so IAG would only be able to buy a minority stake.
BA, Iberia and JAL are members of the One World airline Alliance.
In the longer term, IAG is seeking to utilise the JAL network to access the Asian market.