British Airways' and Iberia's new holding company has drawn up a list of a dozen carriers across a broad spectrum which could become future consolidation partners.

The holding company, International Consolidated Airlines Group, has produced the shortlist after initially considering a total of about 40 possible candidates.

"It's a wish-list," says a spokesman for BA. While the carriers have not been publicly disclosed, he says, they include both full-service and low-cost airlines.

BA and Iberia, he says, had originally set out a list of 40 airlines which could, eventually, become members of the new operation.

These were subsequently "whittled down to 12" with the remaining carriers seen as a "good fit" for the group. The spokesman says they have a "good geographical spread".

BA has previously been in merger talks with Oneworld partner Qantas.

At least one newspaper is citing South African Airways, Finnair and budget carrier AirAsia as potential targets, although there is no confirmation of the identities. Of these only Finnair is currently a Oneworld member.

"There's little possibility that all 12 would joint at the same time," the BA spokesman says.

Oneworld has been expanding its membership to include India's Kingfisher Airlines and the German operator Air Berlin. Their inclusion will take membership of the alliance to 14 carriers.

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Source: Air Transport Intelligence news