This is NOT a joke!
BA could join Air France/Delta alliance-paper
PARIS, May 9 (Reuters) - British Airways could decide in the coming weeks to quit its Oneworld alliance with American Airlines and join up with a rival grouping that includes Air France and Delta, French daily Les Echos said on Tuesday.
Citing several informed sources, the paper said Air France and Delta had delayed the formal unveiling of their alliance -- which Air France executives had previously said would be in March or April -- while waiting for BA's decision.
An Air France spokesman said he could provide no immediate comment on the report.
Should such a move take place it would give the well-established Star Alliance, led by United and Lufthansa , a formidable rival.
The paper quoted Air France and British Airways executives as saying there had been contacts between the French and British carriers, but that no deal had been finalised.
``Nothing is unimaginable, since everything is fluid when it comes to alliances,'' BA commercial director Carl Michel told the paper.
``But even if Air France seems ready to work with us, it would be dangerous to presume that discussions are headed rapidly in one single direction -- we are talking to many airlines on many different topics,'' Michel was quoted as saying.
Other sources, the paper said, confirmed that discussions between the two carriers were gradually advancing and that a deal could be reached within weeks.
Les Echos said that Iberia airline, in which British Airways holds a nine percent stake, could also join the Air France/Delta group as part of a deal.
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