British Airways, Qantas fail to agree on merger terms

London: UK flag carrier British Airways said Thursday its discussions with Australia's Qantas Airways regarding possible merger of the two carriers had ended with both parties failing to agree over terms.

In a brief statement British Airways said the two airlines will continue to work together on their joint business between the UK and Australia and as part of the oneworld alliance.

Separately, Qantas confirmed the talks had been halted.

Though Qantas did not reveal details, BA said it was not agreeable to the Australian airline owning more than 50 per cent of the merged entity.

In line with the consolidation moves being experienced within the sector, the two firms had announced early on in December that they were in talks for a possible merger.

With collapse of negotiations, British Airways can now turn back to negotiating with Spain's Iberia, with which it had announced a possible merger early on. With the Qantas development taking centre stage, talks with Iberia had been put on the back burner.

As for the Australian flag carrier, it may keep itself open to mergers, especially in Asia, media reports quoting inside sources have claimed. Qantas has previously been in dialogue with Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airline System.