Rumor: BA To Invite SWISS into oneworld Alliance

Rumor: BA To Invite SWISS into oneworld Alliance

Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung said Swiss Chief Executive Andre Dose had received an oral invitation to join the oneworld airline alliance during talks with British Airways in London in early August.

SWISS confirmed talks with the British flag carrier but declined to give further details.

“I can confirm talks with British Airways and with other large airlines,” a spokeswoman for SWISS told Reuters.

British Airways also confirmed talks with the struggling airline but declined to comment on how the talks went.

“Their (SWISS) interest in joining oneworld is well documented, and we met last week to discuss the interest,” said a British Airways spokeswoman.

British Airways had snubbed the SWISS carrier last April, saying it was too busy with its core business to add alliance members.

If true, the invitation accomplishes one of SWISS’ major objectives since its reorganization.

According to the SonntagsZeitung, British Airways changed its mind about SWISS after hearing that Dutch carrier KLM would probably choose to ally with Air France and not British Airways.

“The fear that oneworld could slide from second to third place among the airline alliances raised SWISS’ attractiveness for British Airways,” the newspaper said, citing insider sources.

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