British Airways parent eyes stake in American Airlines

An American Airlines jet speeds past British Airways planes parked on March 25, 2010, at London Heathrow Airport. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

(AP) LONDON - The owner of British Airways and Spanish airline Iberia says it is considering taking a stake in American Airlines.

"It is something we would consider," a spokeswoman for International Airlines Group said Monday, confirming remarks by IAG CEO Willie Walsh reported earlier in the day by the Financial Times.

Walsh said that a small stake in American could reinforce American's participation in the Oneworld alliance which includes British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas. British Airways has a joint venture with American on North Atlantic flights.

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Walsh said IAG is prepared to buy a stake "if we can make the case that there is additional strategic value to be achieved."

American Airlines, a subsidiary of AMR Corp. (AMR), is undergoing reorganization under U.S. bankruptcy law.

In a speech in Washington on July 17, Walsh said he believed American would emerge as a stronger airline. "A stronger AA not only benefits its customers, employees and shareholders but it also benefits its partners," he had said.

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