British Airways is in talks with the Australian government to increase its stake in national carrier Qantas, a British newspaper reported on Sunday, December 10.
The British airline currently owns a 25 percent stake in Qantas but is prevented from enlarging its stake by a law restricting foreign ownership of Australian airlines.
The Sunday Times said lobbyists for BA have been in discussions with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Transport Minister John Anderson to have the ceiling on foreign ownership raised to 49 percent.
Australian ministers are considering the move because they believe Qantas needs more financial clout, the newspaper reported.
The airline is undertaking a program of capital investment which includes buying the new Airbus Industrie A3XX wide-bodied airliners, according to The Sunday Times.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000