Will War Bring Global Consolidation of the Airline Industry?

If the US invades Iraq, already flailing airline stocks could be pushed down even lower. That could actually make them cheap, especially for an acquirer. And rumor has it that Qantas is considering a 25% stake in American Airlines.

American and Qantas are already partners. Actually, British Airways owns 18% of Qantas, and BA, AA, and Qantas are all partners. So it seems like a fairly logical move.

On the other hand, if things don’t turn around for American, they’re maybe a year off from bankruptcy. And war with Iraq could bring that even closer. I can’t see Qantas dumping in good money right before a fall.

Perhaps they could come up with a friendly deal wherein American goes into Chapter 11, Qantas provides debtor-in-possession financing, and comes out a 25% owner of a restructured airline.

That’s how American acquired TWA, after all…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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