IAG is in formal negotiations with American Airlines to take US Airways capacity into their joint venture, the European airline group's chief executive Willie Walsh confirms.
Though he acknowledges that American management is "very much focused on their merger" with US Airways – and that "we would do exactly the same if we were in their position" – Walsh says IAG "continues to engage" with its transatlantic partner on extending the arrangement.
The joint venture has worked "in line with what we expected", he adds.
"Probably, it has been more beneficial to American than to us, because I think our standing in the corporate market was very strong both in the US and in Europe," says Walsh, but he does not see a disparity in shares of the spoils as a problem. "That's the nature of these joint businesses: it's not about equal benefit," he says.
"I think part of the problem in the past was, we didn't do things because we almost insisted it had to be 50:50. We walked away from deals that we should have got involved in, simply because it didn't benefit us to the same amount as our potential partners."