Suggestions that a consortium including British Airways (BA) and Goldman Sachs is considering a bid for American Airlines parent company AMR have been dismissed by sources close to the companies.

It follows a widely-quoted report in magazine BusinessWeek which, citing unnamed sources, claimed that BA and Goldman Sachs were discussing the possibility of bidding for AMR, and giving a figure of $9.8-11.1 billion. The report adds that there is no certainty a bid will materialise.

Goldman Sachs and BA decline to comment, and American Airlines could not immediately be reached, but sources connected with the parties have vehemently dismissed the report.

BA and American have long desired a firmer transatlantic partnership but the two airlines’ previous attempts to establish closer links have been scuppered by stiff conditions from regulators, forcing them to settle for a more modest co-operation.

Even if BA pursued an acquisition US foreign ownership laws would limit its participation to just 25% and the carriers would face strenuous objections from other transatlantic operators and heavy regulatory scrutiny.