BA-Iberia still revising acquisition target list: Walsh

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Acquisitions are firmly on the agenda of International Consolidated Airlines Group, the holding company that will oversee the merged operations of British Airways and Iberia.

Speaking at Aviation Week's MRO Europe show in London, BA chief Willie Walsh described consolidation as "part of the solution" to the airline industry's ills, and confirmed that the carrier's new parent group would pursue "like-minded" airlines which had "strong brands".

Twelve airlines were included on an initial shortlist of targets, but revisions to that list are continuing. Walsh stressed that not as many as a dozen would be acquired, since pursuing certain carriers on the list would automatically exclude others.

In its efforts to achieve consolidation that is "practical and beneficial", the group will stick to its strategy of preserving brands, as it has with BA and Iberia.

Walsh said that the name International Consolidated Airlines Group was selected because it "could never be turned into a brand" itself. "We kicked marketing out of the room," he jokes.