Following British Airways’ admission of interest in a possible partnership with Nethelands flag carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines [WAMN, 24-May-00], it was confirmed yesterday that the duo are in "talks about talks". It was emphasised, however, that these are at a very early exploratory stage.

There has been much speculation about a BA/KLM deal since April 28 when the latter ended joint venture discussions with Italy’s Alitalia. Industry observers believe the new Anglo-Dutch intimacy is triggered by the move towards consolidation in the world airline business following announcement of the planned merger between United Airlines and US Airways [WAMN, 24-May-00].

Another factor fuelling BA and KLM's new-found enthusiasm for chat is thought to be the recent merger explorations between their US strategic partners, American Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

News source: Wall Street Journal