Flight International online news 12:00GMT:British Airways’ new chief executive, Willie Walsh, wants to tighten co-operation with Oneworld partner American Airlines, previous efforts at which have stalled over regulatory requirements and failure to revise the UK-US air services agreement.

In an interview published in UK weekly The Observer, Walsh said he was optimistic about renewed transatlantic ‘open skies’ talks – which are set to resume this month – and that these could ease the way towards another attempt to seal a closer British Airways-American pact.

“It would initially involve greater co-operation between American and British Airways on commercial issues that we can’t do now – pricing, scheduling, flying and so on,” he says, although he stresses that a merger between the two carriers would be a “completely different agenda”.

US regulators have previously wrecked the airlines’ efforts to link their transatlantic operations – the last time in 2002 – by demanding the surrender of hundreds of slots at Heathrow in exchange for anti-trust immunity approval.

Source: Flight Daily News