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Dec 22, 2008

AirAsia and Jetstar in merger talks

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia Bhd is in talks to merge with the budget carrier of Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd, a Malaysian newspaper reported on Tuesday citing an unnamed source.

The possible merger between AirAsia and Jetstar could involve a share swap and would help the carriers cope with the impact of slowing demand worldwide as the global economy weakens, The Star newspaper said.

Merger talks are at a preliminary stage, the report said.

Asked to comment, AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes told the newspaper: "We are always talking and looking at ways to strengthen AirAsia into a global brand.

A Qantas spokesman told the paper: "We talk to airlines all the time about possible partnerships, relationships and cooperative agreements."

Qantas and British Airways (BAY.L) had earlier this month called off talks for a $6.4 billion merger.

Source : Reuters
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