Cathay denies British Airways takeover rumours

Cathay denies British Airways takeover rumours


Hong Kong: Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific on Thursday denied market rumours that it was planning a takeover of British Airways.

“These rumours are unfounded. We have no plans to buy British Airways," a Cathay spokeswoman said in a brief statement.

London-listed shares of BA rose on Wednesday on speculation that the firm was a takeover target.

BA is in merger talks with Spanish national carrier Iberia, but company president Willie Walsh said in an interview in early October the move would take longer than expected due to the downturn in the aviation sector.

Cathay said last week its passenger numbers had dropped in September due to the global financial crisis, its first fall since 1993.

The airline said in its company newsletter earlier this month it had been “hit hard" by the economic downturn, with a significant drop in the number of